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The Villa Triste by Lucretia Grindle

Florence, 1943. Two sisters, Isabella and Caterina Cammaccio, find themselves surrounded by terror and death.

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Florence, 1943. Two sisters, Isabella and Caterina Cammaccio, find themselves surrounded by terror and death; and with Italy trapped under the heel of a brutal Nazi occupation, bands of Partisans rise up.

Soon Isabella and Caterina will test their wits and deepest beliefs as never before. As the winter grinds on, they will be forced to make the most important decisions of their lives.

Their choices will reverberate for decades. In the present day, Alessandro Pallioti, a senior policeman agrees to oversee a murder investigation, after it emerges the victim was once a Partisan hero.

When the case begins to unravel, Pallioti finds himself working to uncover a crime lost in the twilight of war, the consequences of which are as deadly today as they were over sixty years ago.

'Grindle vividly evokes Florence as few tourists see it . . . Here is the perfect summer holiday read'

The Villa Triste (fiction)
Lucretia Grindle (Author)
customer reviews (Yes)
Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £1.89 
includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £7.10 (89%)
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

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Reviews from Amazon:

The Villa Triste (Gestapo HQ in Florence) is set in war torn Italy and in the present day. The central characters are 2 sisters, Isabella and Caterina. The novel opens in 1943 with Caterina having a fitting for her wedding dress, looking forward to the future. Then the armistice with the Allies is signed and lives are changed forever with the occupation of Italy by the Germans. Both sisters become involved with the Partisans and it is something that happens during this time that leads to the present day events.

In the present day an old man is found shot through the back of the head, with the murderer also leaving a 'calling card' Allessandro Pallioti, one of Italy's most senior policemen is overseeing the murder investigation, the victim was a Partisan, one of the few remaining. Pallioti finds a red notebook, a journal written by Caterina which details her experiences and through which we gradually learn about her family's link to the Partisan's and their ultimate fates. Sections of this journal appear throughout the novel as Palliotti reads it and the reader is slowly fed clues to solve the murders and work out the connections. Having said that the ending still came as a surprise as with all good crime novels some facts are held back.

This is a fascinating and moving account of this period in Italy's history, and I have to admit that it is period I know very little about but I am now tempted to look for a non-fiction account. It is beautifully written and I really did care about the characters.

If you have read and enjoyed Helen Dunmore's 'The Siege' and 'The Betrayal', 'Alone in Berlin' by Hans Fallada or 'Winter in Madrid' by C J Sansom then I think this book should appeal to you.

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