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on 19 August 2015
Michele Giuttari continues to write good who dunnits
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on 27 March 2017
good
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on 8 December 2015
excellent
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on 25 May 2015
Up to the standard of the previous books. I enjoyed it.
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on 5 May 2014
I have enjoyed reading all the Ferrara novels by Michele Giuttari, The setting in and around Florence, which are familiar from my visits there, contribute to my enjoyment. But his story line and the events he weaves into it are becoming somewhat formulaic and predictable. So just 4 stars and I hope that novel no. 7 will resolve some of Ferrara's underlying dilemmas and get him nearer to uncovering the truth about the Dark Heart of Florence.
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on 24 March 2016
A very disappointing book. I have read all the other ones and liked them, but I suspect that the publishers Little, Brown were in a tremendous hurry for the translation (money, money, money) of this one, as the book has a lot of typing errors, inaccuracies, etc. I just read some pages in the original book in Italian and it is a completely different book.
Also the whole storyline is very vague, whereas in the Italian version some facts are immediately made clear. 6 Murders have been committed, in the end 3 murders are solved, the other 3 remain a mystery (haha). Furthermore I advise you to read The Black Rose of Florence first for better understanding this book, if you decide to buy this very bad English version.
Again, the translation is appalling and very incomplete: some 370 pages against 465 pages in the Italian book. Shame on the publishers Little, Brown.
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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.
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on 31 October 2014
I read this book as a member of a book club and I don't think I would have chosen it otherwise. I found the plot line overly dramatic, it was as if someone from a creative writing class took all the elements of a crime thriller that had been covered in the course and insisted on putting them into one book.
I found some of the characters well described but others were half-drawn sketches. The reason I gave it three stars was Michele Ferrara has some wonderful descriptions of Florence and I found myself back wandering streets I known and loved. His setting is sublime put his plotting needs development.
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on 12 August 2013
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys elaborate rather complicated plots which require a few twists and turns before being solved. A few gruesome descriptions but not over-indulged. Characters are rather lightly drawn but that doesn`t affect a good story. Mind you I also enjoy Montalbano ! Perhaps it`s all to do with Scicilians!
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on 14 May 2016
If I could leave no stars I would. Avoid at all costs. The translation is appalling and the content uninteresting, leaving more loose ends than it solved - presumably for another book. I had previously read 'A Death in Tuscany' and enjoyed. Once again I was convinced to try this book as a second to read by the author on the basis of the 4/5 star reviews and failed to look at the low star reviewers, a fatal mistake. The translation renders the novel into clunking banality which is hard to describe. Did finish the book but glad to get to the end of it.
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