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A mixed bag
on 28 July 2014
This is the first of Giuttari's novels I have read. I think this is Book 6 in Michele Ferrara series. Inevitably references to people and incidents related in past books pass you by when you break into a series. Most authors manage this so that each of the books in a series can stand alone while still making reference to a previous story line. This book is particularly reliant on events related in an earlier book and I think the author should have made a little more effort to paint that back story for readers who have not had the advantage of reading the previous books.
Michele Ferrara is the detective who is the key character in the book. He is a bit of a maverick with an uncomfortable relationship with the politicos and the caribinieri. I had to resort to Wikipedia to get some sort of understanding of the relationship between the various Italian law enforcement bodies.
The writing style is fast-paced, short chapters, with plenty of action. That works well in the early part of the book. It drew me into the story. There is a lot happening in the early chapters, murders which may or may not be connected, arson, kidnap and abuse. The style does not work so well however when the author tries to piece together the various plot lines. The writing, or the translation, or both came off the rails for me in the final segment of the book as the story builds to a conclusion. Perhaps in an effort to achieve dramatic effect the sparse staccato writing style is accentuated and what should be a crescendo of drama turns into a great anti- climax of over simplified English. It lost credibility for me and was a very disappointing way to end the story.
There are elements of the storyline which are not to my taste but had I written my review 75% of the way through the book I would have scored it 4 stars. The deterioration in the writing however marred the final and most important part of the book.