First of all when I purchased that book, I pretty much guessed it would be quite far from the movie whose title it borrowed. And reading reviews of the movie itself, there seem to have been a ill-thought packaging as an action-thriller, Bourne-type of story which could not be more different from reality.
In other words the movie's marketing does not reflect its content, neither does the book.
Therefore I haven't been disappointed at all by the novel. It's a one-chapter, 400 page story about a trader in sophisticated gunsmithing, who is doing what he'd like to be his last assignment while staying covert in a small Italian village. There, he finds out the village would not be a bad place to settle down for the long term, as if all other places he's been before had brought a certainty that he would not stay.
I know Italy a bit and enjoy its country life. Booth's story is fresh, original and slow, as slow as life that trickles down in such a small Abbruzio village. The pace of the story translates perfectly the pace of daily life, and here and then you can find some precious moments, such as the hero and the priest sharing wine, cheese and "charcuterie" in a garden under an umbrella... As precious as when I actually lived such moments myself and could totally relate.
Booth bothers (and relishes doing so) with all the right names of cheeses, wines and sausages, as well as detialed descriptions of those little snapshots of Italian quotidien... Espresso and a glass of water by the terrace, the slow acquaintancy and then friendship that develops between Seniore Farfalla and the locals...
It's delicious just reading about it.. I just loved that book.
The only downside is that it is 400 pages, one-chapter non-stop book... It matches the rythm of the story, but it's a real pain to stop at a convenient moment in order to pick it up later.