Luca D’Andrea 2017 Maclehose Press (Release Date 19th October 2017)
Press Release –
The International thriller of 2017 with over 30 publication deals worldwide, including in the USA, Germany, Spain and France.
Already a bestseller in Italy (100 000 Copies Sold) and Germany (Topped the Spiegel Bestseller charts)
‘Can be compared (with no hyperbole) to Stephen King and Jo Nesbo’ La Repubblica
So you can imagine my delight when this package arrived from Quercus Books!
The Blurb –
Jerimiah Salinger blames himself.
The crash was his fault. He was the sole survivor. Now only his daughter Clara can put a smile on his face. The depression and the nightmares are closing in.
But when he takes Clara to the Bletterback – a canyon in the Dolmites rich in fossil remains – he overhears by chance a conversation that gives his life renewed focus. In 1985 three students were murdered, their bodies savaged, limbs severed and strewn by a killer who was never found.
Salinger, a New Yorker, is far from home, and these mountains, where his wife was born, harbour a close knit, tight-lipped community whose mistrust can turn ugly. All the same, solving this mystery might be the only thing that can keep him sane.
This is a fast paced and engaging read as Salinger, curious by nature cannot resist the lure of the mystery of the murders, nearly 30 years previous. An outsider in the community, not helped by the accident or Salinger’s subsequent delving, this story captures the hostility of the landscape, replicated in the different characters who range from warm and welcoming to dangerous, secretive and aggressive.
This book has a lot going on, the plot is intricate with a number of hypothesis offered prior to the final solving of the mystery. I enjoyed the book, particularly how the story developed, layer upon layer as more was learnt about the victims and the circumstances surrounding their demise. The location added another dimension to this story, not only because of the malevolence of the environment but the myths surrounding the area and the ‘Beast’ that haunted Salinger post accident. The same ‘Beast’ that he was keeping at bay by immersing himself in the mystery of the slayings.
Alongside the central theme of the murders, Salinger lives with his wife, who is desperate for him to take some time out, to not involve himself in anymore stories following his recent brush with death. And then there is Werner Mair, a stalwart member of the community and Salinger’s father in law. Directly involved with the murders due to his role within Mountain Rescue, Werner has some stories to tell but is mindful of his daughter’s wishes for her husband. The characters are likeable, but closed and the author portrays well the sense of Salinger remaining on the outside. While within the community, some continue to experience the repercussions of that fateful time, nearly 30 years ago when 3 students were killed.
Overall I liked this book a lot, and rate it a strong 3.5 stars. For me the ending and the conclusions reached by Salinger in solving the mystery didn’t work so well. No spoilers here so I won’t say more except that I like my book endings to be really tight, connecting the pieces of the story. This didn’t quite do that but I enjoyed the book all the same and think fans of fast paced, murder mystery thrillers will enjoy this book a lot.
Huge Thanks again to Quercus Books for sending me this copy.