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The View From the Tower

The View From the Tower [Kindle Edition]

Charles Lambert
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

“Can she trust them? Can you?"

Helen is in a hotel room with her lover in Rome, when a gunman murders her husband, a high-level politician, less than a mile away.

Helen immediately finds herself both a suspect and suspicious of those around her – including her friends and her husband’s family, and her lover, Giacomo, an ex-terrorist with a new wife and a reinvented life.

As Helen struggles to understand her husband’s death and the extent to which she and the people she knows may have been responsible for it, she is forced to examine her own past and peel back the years of secrets and lies.

The View From the Tower is a gripping psychological thriller about love and betrayal, certain to appeal to fans of le Carré and William Boyd.

About the Author

Charles Lambert was born in England and educated at Cambridge, but has lived in Italy for more than twenty years. His short fiction has been shortlisted for the Willesden Short Story Prize and his story 'The Scent of Cinnamon' won him an O. Henry Prize. His most recent novel Any Human Face was described by the Bookseller as "immensely impressive - holds you completely enthralled throughout" and in The Telegraph Jake Kerridge described it as "a slow-burning, beautifully written crime story that brings to life the Rome that tourists don't see - luckily for them." The View From the Tower and the novel that follows will continue this suspenseful exploration of Rome's dark side.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1479 KB
  • Print Length: 267 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Exhibit A (29 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #398,372 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Charles Lambert was born in 1953 in Lichfield, England. In 1976 he moved to Milan and, apart from brief spells in Ireland, Portugal and London, has lived and worked in Italy since then. He now lives in Fondi, exactly halfway between Rome and Naples. His first novel, Little Monsters, a Good Housekeeping selection and described by John Harding (Daily Mail) as 'beautifully written and crafted, and more compelling than many thrillers', was published in 2008, the same year as his collection of prize-winning stories, The Scent of Cinnamon and Other Stories; the title story won an O. Henry Prize and was described by Scott Pack (Friday Project) as 'a classic of this century with a timeless quality'. Any Human Face, his second novel and the first in a trilogy set in modern-day Rome, was welcomed as a 'a sophisticated literary thriller' by the Guardian and as 'a wonderful book, beautifully written' by, while for the Telegraph's Jake Kerridge it is 'a slow-burning, beautifully written crime story that brings to life the Rome that tourists don't see - luckily for them.' The second novel in the trilogy, The View from the Tower, is now available, to be followed, in November, by the concluding volume, The Folding World. With a Zero at its Heart, an autobiographical fiction ('poetic, tender and funny': Guardian) was published in May 2014.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of loss, loyalty and wine... 5 May 2014
This is a nicely judged tale of intrigue and sexual politics, that starts off as a thriller and morphs into a meditation on youth and loyalty and loss. The sense of place is very strong and although the politics are ever-present, they never threaten to overwhelm the more basic pleasures of life (don't read this if you're thinking of giving up cheese or wine...); in this respect, it reminded me of the Barcelona-set novels of Manuel Vazquez Montalban. Prose-wise, Lambert wears his obvious erudition lightly and puts it to good use in series of illuminating asides and observations: 'He wants, he realises, to call the woman widowed. There's no word for a woman who's lost her child, it occurs to him, perhaps because it should never happen, it goes against the natural order. But it happens all the time. The emperors make it happen, and their advisors. Perhaps there was a word for it in Latin, in Ancient Rome, he thinks, when it must have been needed all the time.'
Lovely stuff...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Initially thought it was an insider job, for Italy-dwellers only, but then realized it was a hothousing of the reader, to lock them into something, not just at plot-level -- I personally don't "do" plot -- they weren't going to want to get out of. In any case, its presentation of the terrorist years in Italy informs, intrigues, and should interest anyone who was alive, in Europe, and in possession of a social awareness then and now. Read disingenuously: characters and situations are almost always slightly skewed, and emotions sometimes come at you from a few feet to the side of where you're expecting them. Watch that Giulia. Climb the tower slowly.
- the plot? Oh that. That's fantastic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ROME - a marriage of smoke and mirrors 1 Jan 2014
Another cracking novel from Charles Lambert that transports the reader to Rome, the everyday Rome that often only the locals are 'privileged' to experience (it could be, however, not so much a privileged as a mixed blessing, read on). Mix in Italian politics, the wider Roman family, some manners, morals and mores, and you have a snapshot of the life of one marriage, full of intrigue and deception, set over the period of one week, early June 2004.

Helen, originally from the UK, is married to Federico di Stasi and, as such, also has to contend with his 'patrician' family, to wit father-in-law Fausto and matriarch mother-in-law Giulia. Helen, together with Federico and their mutual friend Giacomo have a history that binds them all, going back to Turin in the late 1970s, the era when terrorism was ripe and spreading its icy grip across Europe. The Red Brigades, a vanguard paramilitary organisation, was at the height of its power, attempting to revolutionise Italy through armed struggle. It was this group of combatants, of course, who were behind the kidnapping and murder of the politician Aldo Moro, an event mentioned in the novel; at the point in their lives, the three are on the fringes of illicit activities, and it was Giacomo who ended up in prison for a shoot-out at a bank, in which a guard was killed.

The book starts out with the killing of Federico, on his way to work in his ministry car. It is a massive event that naturally shapes the lives of all the characters. Essentially this is the story of how Helen comes to terms with the impact of his death.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 16 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought this would be the ideal novel for me as I know Italy well and lived and worked there in the 1970s. At that time the extreme political elements of the Neo-fascists and Marxist Red Brigades were struggling for supremacy and atrocities such as the bombings in Milan and Brescia and the kidnap and murder of Aldo Moro and others took place. The author has, I understand, lived in Italy for a long time and obviously has a good knowledge of the country.

The novel switches between now and those times and explores the changes in the lives and relationships of several characters. Particularly the impact of acts committed then, on individuals who have moved on in life. The central character is the wife of a politician who is murdered at the start of the story.

Sadly I found the book unsatisfying. The plot was good but the characters remained shallow, so that I didn't really care what happened to them. The identification of the person responsible for the murder seemed to happen in a brief revelation and the novel finished so abruptly that I was left looking for the next chapter. Possibly the very short flashbacks didn't work well because they didn't allow any atmosphere of those times to be created. They seemed just like a device to explain the plot.

I wish I could be more positive about it but I feel like it was an opportunity for a really good novel which just didn't make it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly human 5 Jan 2014
By Marleen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
I received my copy from the publisher through NetGalley

Over two years ago I read "Any Human Face" by Charles Lambert and was very impressed by this, at the time, new to me author. That book was the first one in a planned trilogy about the darker side of Rome. "The View from the Tower" is the second title in that trilogy and impressed me even more than the first one did.

Just like "Any Human Face" this is a literary thriller. Even though Helen's husband is murdered at the start of the story the emphasis isn't immediately on why or by whom he was killed. In fact, the first part of this book appears to concentrate on Helen and her feelings of guilt, loss, confusion and denial as she takes a closer look at her husband of 30 years and the relationship she had with him. Her feelings are complicated by the fact that for all of those 30 years Helen has had an affair with her husband's best friend, Giacomo, the man she was visiting in his hotel room while her husband was being killed a short distance away.

As Helen struggles to understand her husband's death and the extent to which she and the people she knows may have been responsible for it, she is forced to examine her own past and peel back the years of secrets and lies. It is while Helen takes a closer look at her life, the events that took place in the past and the feelings she has for the two men in her life that the reader and Helen get an understanding of what has happened and why events took the turn they did.

This is an intricate story.
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