I have read quite a few Lucretia Grindle book’s since reading the Villa Triste a couple of years ago after a recommendation from a lady in my bookclub. The Villa Triste still remains my favourite book but I have enjoyed them all.
“The Faces of Angels” had been sitting on my book shelf for longer than I am prepared to admit. I do have a bad habit of buying more books than I can read with my current lifestyle with the belief that someday I will get through them all and maybe one day I will. But so far I still have so many to read it would take me a long time to do so and then another book catches my eye.
But I am glad that I read this book. It was a crime book shortlisted for the Radio 4 six best crime novels of 2006. My children think I like crime just a bit too much. You name any crime drama on TV and you will find that I watch it avidly. Causing my daughter to laugh at what she sees as my great interest in murder. I personally blame Taggart I was so excited to finally see a TV drama about my own town when I was younger that I was hooked in. Though thinking about it I loved Starskey and Hutch and Cagney and Lacey which pre date Taggart I think so maybe I just have a thing for crime.
I also enjoy crime books particularly if they are set in Scotland and went into labour with my daughter re reading the aptly named Ian Rankin Book “Let the blood run”. But I also love books set in warmer countries than our own and have always wanted to go to Florence which is maybe why I am drawn to Lucretia Grindle’s books as so many of them are set there.
This one is about a American woman Mary Warren is raped and nearly killed in a vicious attack in a garden. Her husband who is leading a group nearby come to her rescue only to be killed. The killer is quickly caught and dies on his way to prison.
Mary can’t settle in the USA after her attack and returns to Florence to study sharing a flat with a very quirky fellow American and resuming her affair with a Italian journalist. But then there are more murders just as horrible as her attempted one. And Mary and Pierangeleo her lover start to wonder if the police got the right man or is their a copy cat killer at play?
This book keeps you guessing all the way through the book. Often I guess the ending but not here which is the best type of crime book and arguably the best type of book. I loved the relations too between Mary and her flat mate. Part friends and partly the difficulties being older of sharing with someone who wants to borrow your make up and clothes. Florence despite the blood and gore was a stunning back drop which still made me want to visit despite some terrifying scenes. Only wish I had taken the book of the shelf earlier.