Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Lost Girls of Rome by Donato Carrisi

Mulholland Books (Nov. 19 2013)

I bought The Lost Girls of Rome in 2013, as much to discover an Italian author (especially as I mostly read French or English authors...) as for the story that seemed promising. In the end, I discovered this author by reading The whisperer, bought and dedicated last year at the Quais du polar festivla. I also really liked Donato Carrisi's full of intelligence interventions.

So at last, I finally read his second novel and I must say that I did recognized his pen. Carrisi seems to enjoy confusing us to better surprise us. The POV alternate between different characters, including a corpse that wakes up every day wondering who he is. Marcus is a strange character, we feel that he has experienced a lot of things, that he is capable of violence and we're all the more surprised when we know what's his "job". Sandra, a young widow, is unable to recover from what she thought was a ridiculous accident until she discovers that the fall was done on purpose. She also hides things and will have to face her own guilt and choose between forgiveness and revenge. We also follow a hunter stalking his prey, all in a series of chapter linked by a date, a time, a character.

Several plots unfold and eventually meet and are explained with always - author's brand - twists that we did not see coming. That is the Carrisi's effect: you think you're reading a linear book and wham! he changes the rules. Talking story: Sandra and Marcus' paths intersect as they track a serial killer, a master of manipulation and old investigation come to a final outcome, all that wrapped up in a reflection - another brand of the author - this time about forgiveness, revenge, and the choice that is up to each person. How would we react if a stranger served us the murderer who destroyed our lives and that justice has missed on a plate?

Again, Carrisi offers us a good thriller, with well-crafted story, grounds for thought and very ambiguous characters. Only drawback in my case, the somewhat too religious angle. As much as I love to learn more about the history of religions (especially the secret things!) And then I have to say that I was served and delighted, as much as a good reflection about good and evil does doesn't bother me, bringing God as an explanation bothers me. The non-religious and non-believer I am is struggling with the church's moral lessons... It is probably what makes The Lost Girl of Rome a tad less good than The whisperer in my case.

The blurb

A grieving young widow, seeking answers to her husband's death, becomes entangled in an investigation steeped in the darkest mysteries of Rome.

Sandra Vega, a forensic analyst with the Roman police department, mourns deeply for a marriage that ended too soon. A few months ago, in the dead of night, her husband, an up-and-coming journalist, plunged to his death at the top of a high-rise construction site. The police ruled it an accident. Sanda is convinced it was anything but.

Launching her own inquiries, Sanda finds herself on a dangerous trail, working the same case that she is convinced led to her husband's murder. An investigation which is deeply entwined with a series of disappearances that has swept the city, and brings Sandra ever closer to a centuries-old secret society that will do anything to stay in the shadows.

In a nutshell

A very good thriller, well written and with twists as we like. This is a 4/5 for me.

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