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The Villa Triste (Inspector Pallioti #2)

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,430 Ratings  ·  263 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Pan (first published 2010)
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Christy B
The Villa Triste was a fabulous piece of fiction that I'm glad I came across. I enjoyed the book immensely and was gripped the entire time.

The story opens in 1943 Florence. Two sisters: Caterina and Isabella. Their lives – along with all of Italy – are about to be turned upside down. As Italy backs out of the war and severs its alliance with Germany, most of the country immediately becomes occupied by the Nazis. Isabella and their brother Enrico join The Resistance, and soon Caterina has no choi
...more
Patricia
May 23, 2014 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Book groups; historical fiction; mystery
I absolutely LOVED this book. From the first page, the book captivated my imagination, heart and head with the prose, characters, overall story and subplots. Richly woven and multi-layered, this was the best of several themes from several great books combined: "Trieste," "A Small Death in Lisbon," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," and "The Goldfinch." I couldn't read it fast enough, like the need for a drug I raced to get back to the book, it sucked the oxygen from the room, and now I am gaspin ...more
Diane Ferbrache
Isabella and Caterina are sisters in a very close family. Caterina's fiancé is in southern Italy with the army, and their brother is also in the fight. When Mussolini signs a compact with Hitler, things change dramatically for this Florentine family -- Isabella joins the resistance fighters and Caterina, a nurse, is reluctantly drawn in.

Flash forward to present time. Someone is apparently targeting war heroes -- murdering two of the elderly men honored at a recent ceremony for Italian heroes of
...more
Patty Brandl
Aug 14, 2013 Patty Brandl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great combination of historical fiction and a major who-done-it! Set in beautiful Florence, Italy, the author immediately applies a stranglehold to your mind, never letting up. The story begins in WWII Florence immediately following the step-down of Mussolini which, in turn, caused former fellow Axis member, Nazi Germany, to invade Italy. The stage is set for the story of two sisters, both working for the Partisan movement to help Jewish families and Allied soldiers trapped behind enemy l ...more
Zora
Mar 15, 2013 Zora rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This could have been a terrific novel about the resistance movement in Italy in WWII and a modern day murder that results from those events, but it has two major flaws. The worst is this: it should have been edited down to perhaps 420 pages. Particularly in the modern day sections, the author makes a point, and makes it again, and makes it yet again, for 6 or 8 pages of no forward progress. That gets old quickly and led me to start skimming in those sections. The second problem is that the moder ...more
Shelli
Jan 12, 2015 Shelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
I ended up really enjoying this WW11 story told from the perspective of two sisters, who were very different, but ended up fighting for the same cause. This took place in Italy, so I once again learned about a different angle and "side" of this war. This was as awful as the rest. Same terror…different location. I liked both the historical story from the past and the modern day mystery. I felt the author did a great job of making both stories equally as exciting and interesting. The book was very ...more
Jen
Mar 03, 2014 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
I probably shouldn't write this review yet because I'm still reeling from the end of the book. I'm one of those people who reacts differently after a day or two, but in this case, I don't think I'm going to change my mind.

This book was beautiful. Odd to say about a book with gritty executions partially set in 1940s occupied Florence, Italy. But the writing itself was beautiful.

The story begins with Caterina and Isabella (Cati and Issa) in Florence as the armistice is declared, just before Germa
...more
Bowerbird
Aug 16, 2010 Bowerbird rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A novel with a great sense of time and place: The book begins as Caterina prepares for her wedding in September 1943. She is a nurse, but her sister Isabella, a University student is already involved in an underground group determined to resist the German occupation. Reluctantly Caterina becomes involved as her nursing skills prove useful in getting Jews and others whose lives are threatened out of Italy.
However, in the 21st century a man is murdered: a man who has recently received a medal for
...more
Anne
Nov 22, 2010 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another brilliant "find". This is one that'd appeal equally to those of you who like detective fiction (Pallioti's a really endearing character, a bit of a Florentine Morse with his slightly rougher sidekick, Enzo) and romantic dual time narrative. The book opens with Isabella and Caterina, two fairly well-off sisters in Florence in 1943, and tells of their growing involvement with the partisans as the Allies move North through Italy to drive out the Germans. We then switch to the modern story, ...more
Tim
Dec 03, 2011 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an okay read and did get better toward the end. But it could have been much better. The book was marred by a couple of things. One is(especially early on) that the author tended to slip into trite usages-- things like "her heart stopped". Well, no, it didn't, otherwise they'd be calling 911! The other thing was that she tried to build up encounters artificially -- lots of needless description of the setting before the characters get down to whatever it was they had to talk about. The au ...more
Louise
I bought this book a couple of years ago because of a recommendation on Twitter but just got round to reading it. I wasn't sure I was going to like it at first, as I found the characters a bit prickly and difficult. However, that was just setting the stage for some family dynamics that were integral to the plot. This was a very gripping read, very compelling. The actual mystery wasn't too difficult to figure out, but that didn't diminish the story. I found that I cared very much about what happe ...more
Orla
May 25, 2014 Orla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd never heard of this book before.

An old man is murdered, salt is found in his mouth, he is a dealer in antique pornographic prints. Another old man is found miles away in another Italian city, killed in a similar fashion. The investigator finds they are connected, both were involved in Italy's partisan movement during WWII. A journal from that era, written by a young woman who worked as a nurse, is woven into the story.

To tell anymore would spoil it - suffice it to say that you enjoy reading
...more
harshv
An ordinary family living in Florence against the backdrop of the second world war gets involved with the partisan movement...the choices they make change their lives forever and create the circumstances leading to murder many years later.

Really well written, this book has believable and human characters, a moving account of how 'ordinary people do extraordinary things', an elegant investigator and very skilful interplay between the past and the present... sad, beautiful, complex and exciting -
...more
Badseedgirl
May 20, 2015 Badseedgirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read-in
Historical fiction can be a dangerous thing. If the novel is not well researched the "Historical" can be suspect. Plus there is always the danger that the reader will forget the "fiction" aspects of the novel and fail to realize the author may have taken liberties with historical figures as a plot devise. Think of the movie "Titanic" and all those screaming girls.

The best historical novel nudges the reader into the non-fiction sections of the library to find out more about the historical time. L
...more
LemonLinda
Jul 15, 2014 LemonLinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of two sisters, Isabella and Caterina, in Florence, Italy during the waning years of WWII as the Allies are approaching but the Germans and remaining Fascists are entrenched and wielding a strong arm of fear and horror as random citizens are brutalized or even killed. The authorities are determined to find, arrest and execute anyone working against their regime, especially the partisans who have made it their mission to free their country from the rampant brutality of the occup ...more
Janny
Ik dacht een boek te gaan lezen over het Italië in WO II. Over een familie in oorlogstijd en de gevolgen daarvan op hun leven. Ook na een stukje in het boek te hebben gelezen, verkeerde ik nog steeds in die veronderstelling. Begrijp me niet verkeerd, dat is óók zo, maar ik was verrast toen er ineens een sprong in de tijd werd gemaakt. Van 1943 springen we naar het Florence van 2006 en een oude man blijkt te zijn vermoord. Politiechef Pallioti wordt belast met het onderzoek naar de moordenaar. De ...more
Jodi Lutz
I enjoyed this book quite a lot, but I wish it was better. The portions of the story set in the 1940's were engrossing, but the portions set in current day were tedious, and as the book went on, became much more prominent.

What I liked. The the two sisters fighting with the partisans against Nazi's and Fascists, albeit each in their own way, made for interesting reading. The characters had different personalities, and each fought in ways that were consistent with their outlook. Each experienced
...more
Elsje
Ik had ingetekend op Villa Triste van de Amerikaanse schrijfster Lucretia Grindle. Het werd aangeprezen als het ideale vakantieboek. Nu hangt dat er natuurlijk erg vanaf wat voor boeken je graag tijdens vakantie leest maar dat terzijde :-)

Het verhaal
Het verhaal speelt zich afwisselend af in het Florence van 1943-1945 en het najaar van 2006, waardoor de invloed van het verleden op het heden
Zomer 1943. De fascisten van Mussolini zijn verdreven, het wachten is op de geallieerden. Denkt men. Want m
...more
Audrey
At 629 pages, the sheer size of this volume initially overwhelmed me, and I probably wouldn't have picked it up if I hadn't won a copy through a Goodreads giveaway. Connecting the past with the present, this was more of a current-era murder mystery than I thought it would be. Once I warmed up to this concept, however, I actually found the mystery angle to be quite intriguing. The writing was good, the story was never dull, and there were just enough leads and diversions to keep me guessing right ...more
Hanneke
Mar 11, 2013 Hanneke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
De toon van deze detective is heel traditioneel en dat vond ik een verademing in vergelijking met al die thrillers van de laatste jaren, waar het bloed van de bladzijden spet. Deze detective is interessant omdat er twee paralelle geschiedenissen worden verteld die allebei hecht met elkaar verbonden zijn. Het verhaal en de daden van de twee zusters in Florence tijdens WW-II hebben direct te maken met de moorden die de inspecteur in de huidige tijd onderzoekt. Boeiend om over de situatie in 1943 i ...more
Alyssa
Apr 26, 2015 Alyssa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy
This book was one part literary novel, one part thriller/murder mystery, and one part historical fiction. The story alternates back and forth between Nazi-occupied Florence, where two sisters become caught up in the resistance movement, and modern-day Florence, where a police inspector tries to solve the murders of two old men, both decorated former partisan fighters. The stories weave together well, but not too quickly that the reader can see the endgame far in advance. We discover things at th ...more
Jennifer
Villa Triste feels like a brick but it is so enjoyable that you will be HAPPY that it is so long once you start reading! You won't want it to end. I would give it more stars if I could. The story holds strong for 600 pages, right to the very end, and I enjoyed every bit of it. Grindle kept all her lines straight and all the threads wrapped tightly. I enjoyed the easy flow of her writing style that said so much with so little waste. I never felt that urge to skim pages in order to "get on with" t ...more
Maggie Boyd
At 600 plus pages this is an amazingly long book. It is a credit to the author that it manages to hold your attention the whole time.

In 1943 the Italians deposed Mussolini and tried to make a pact with the allies. They were invaded by the Germans, any Italian who refused to fight for them called a deserter and shot. Enrico Carmaccio comes home from the army and stops by his family villa on the way to join the Partisans. He brings a friend, Carlo, with him.

Thus begins the tales of Isabella and
...more
Eric Wright
Grindle takes us back to 1943 in Florence, Italy which we see through the eyes of Caterina, one of the two Cammaccio sisters. Italy's hopes are dashed as the Germans occupy the country and tighten their control. Caterina is to be married but her fiancé is in the army and unreachable. With the rise of fascism, Caterina's sister Isabella joins the partisans and becomes famous for her exploits of spiriting Jews and allied fliers to safety through the mountains.

Then the story shifts to the present d
...more
Lili
Oct 25, 2012 Lili rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story set in Italy during the war years and revolves around two sisters who worked for the resistance. It is an exceptionally poignant story, that moves easily from the war years to current murder investigations. A little slow during the first chapters and overly descriptive but it eventually gets going. Villa Triste is hard to put down; in fact I found it compulsive reading, I needed to discover the truth.
Robyn
Feb 13, 2016 Robyn rated it it was amazing
SPOILER FREE

This was another book that I recieved for free at a country living show three years ago. These seven books I got there have remained unread for so long as I always gravitated towards the books I chose myself. But now, as I'm starting to read them, I'm learning that I should have done so sooner because not one of them has let me down yet!
This book opens during the beginning of the german occupation in Florence, Italy. We meet two sisters, Isabella and Caterina (Issa and Cati) and the
...more
Anna
Sep 05, 2014 Anna marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I made it through part one.
The writing is beautiful; evocative of place and emotion, but then, as an incurable end-reader, I peeked at the end and discovered what was going to happen in the story and decided it was too serious and perhaps to sad for the mood I am currently in. I may revisit this at another time.
Sheila
Jul 14, 2014 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catarina and Isabella are sisters living in Italy during WWII. Caterina is a nurse working at the local hospital. Their brother, Enrico joins the army but is discharged when Italy cuts it's ties with Germany. He and his friend Carlos arrive home. Isabella, Enrico and Carlos join the Resistance fighting against the Fascist and the Nazis. Caterina gets drawn into their cause because of her nursing abilities. Now, it's 2007 and one of the Resistance men who was recently nominated for an award is mu ...more
Elaine
Dec 03, 2015 Elaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definition of Triste: sad, mournful; also wistful.

I love reading World War II historical fictions. I also love reading whodunit, serial killer, murder mysteries. Villa Triste has it all! It’s like getting two books for the price of one.

Our story starts out in Florence, September 8, 1943. The main concerns of the Cammaccio sisters for that day were wedding dress fittings, birthday parties and getting prepared for University. Then the Germans occupied Italy and their whole world changed.

Villa Tris
...more
Annemarie
Jan 28, 2014 Annemarie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Villa Triste – Lucretia Grindle

Ook dit boek over de tweede wereldoorlog bestaat weer uit twee verhaallijnen, een verhaallijn uit het verleden en eentje uit het heden. Vanaf de eerste bladzijde pakte de verhaallijn uit het verleden me bij mijn kladden en liet me niet meer los. Die van het heden vond ik echter een stuk lastiger. Zeker in het begin begreep ik de link tussen deze twee verhaallijnen niet en was het voor mij doorbijten om door te lezen. Nu ik dit boek uitgelezen heb, ben ik erg blij d
...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 21, 2015 03:12PM  
  • The Golden Hour
  • The Last Telegram
  • Jasmine Nights
  • The Madonna of the Almonds
  • The Medici Boy
  • Flight From Berlin
  • The Lavender Garden
  • A Murder in Tuscany (Sandro Cellini, #2)
  • A Kind Of Vanishing
  • I Gave My Heart to Know This
  • The Keeper of Secrets
  • The Rossetti Letter (Claire Donovan #1)
  • Naples '44: A World War II Diary of Occupied Italy
  • The Venetian Mask
  • Pictures of the Past
  • A Kiss from Maddalena
  • The Conductor
  • De Facebookmoorden (John Leyssens & Mieke Van Cattendyck, #3)
Lucretia Grindle was born in Boston Massachusetts and grew up spending half her time in the United States and half her time in the UK. Continuing as she started out, she still splits her time, but now calls the coast of Maine home.
More about Lucretia Grindle...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Pallioti (3 books)
  • The Faces Of Angels
  • The Lost Daughter

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“There is one thing that I do find extraordinary and it never ceases to amaze me. That even in this day and age, in any day and age, that people always insist on believing their heroes are men” 1 likes
“Old and blended in, another worn feature of this worn city that no one notices much and no one will miss. How, she wondered, does that happen? In what year is it, exactly, that we begin to vanish, to fade into our surroundings as if they are absorbing us, pulling our bones back home?” 0 likes
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