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Blood on the Altar

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  90 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
One Sunday morning in 1993 a 16-year-old girl named Eliza Claps goes missing from a church in the centre of Potenza, Italy. Shortly before her disappearance, Elisa had met Danilo Restivo, a strange local boy with a fetish for cutting women's hair on the back of buses. Elisa's family are convinced that Resitvo is responsible for their daughter's disappearance, but he is pro ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Faber & Faber (first published January 1st 2012)
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Ian
Aug 03, 2012 Ian rated it really liked it
Blood on the Altar, on its surface a detailed account of the disappearance of 16-year-old Elisa Claps on September 12, 1993, in Potenza, in southern Italy, is equal parts cultural critique and true crime expose. The investigation that ensues upon Elisa's failure to return home on that fateful Sunday morning is astoundingly shoddy. Advancing at a glacial pace and impeded at every turn by officials who seem to have something to hide, it stumbles and sputters as it encounters one roadblock after an ...more
Monica Colangelo
Il libro è il racconto di diciotto anni di angoscia, un racconto pulito come - forse - un italiano non avrebbe saputo fare, di questi anni bui della storia d'Italia, rappresentata da una storia che da privata è diventata parte di tutti.
La storia di Elisa, di Danilo, di Potenza, della Basilicata, raccontata da un inglese, si spoglia di giri di parole ed inutili fronzoli e artifizi letterari per andare dritti al punto.
Sono lucana, più o meno coetanea di Elisa, ho vissuto da sempre tutta la stori
...more
Deanne
Mar 23, 2016 Deanne rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Reading this was like sitting in the chair at home, shouting at the television because you can't believe what is going on.
A young woman goes missing after meeting a young man who she finds creepy but is too nice to tell him to go away. After she disappears people come forward with misleading information, some innocently, some with more sinister reasons, but more amazing is the attitude of the local priest who refuses to allow the police to search the church where she was last seen.
As a result th
...more
Helen
May 24, 2013 Helen rated it liked it
Exhaustive examination of the murder of Elisa Claps in Italy and the later subsequent murder of Heather Barnett in Dorset, some years later.
Well written, especially relating to how Elisa's family coped in the aftermath of her death; I thought the meandering descriptions of various Italian locales were unnecessary, but the explanations of Italian political corruption were useful and enlightening additions.
An interesting read about a very, very strange man.
Matthew Ogborn
Oct 11, 2013 Matthew Ogborn rated it it was amazing
Another fascinating book from Tobias Jones, one of the finest all-round writers to have come out of England. It delves deeply into a little known region of Italy, uncovering a shocking series of cover ups and moral vacuum revolving around the hypocritical church and politicians
Jane
Mar 23, 2013 Jane rated it it was amazing
Not only is this a gripping story of two horrific murders and how the culprit is overlooked by the police only allowing him to kill again, the book also gives you a guided tour of the region of Italy where the first murder happened. A really gripping read.
Diane
Jan 25, 2015 Diane rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Such a sad read and so distressing for the family involved. We are all so used to watching murders being investigated on TV that you wonder how such basic clues and facts were not followed up.
Heather
Jun 03, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
Recommended to Heather by: Eileen
This true story is sad and ultimately inspiring. Elisa Claps' family never gave up in their search for Elisa and for justice.
Mei Yau
This book makes me scared of two things: 1) Being violently murdered; and 2) Living in Italy.
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Tobias Jones was on the staff of the London Review of Books and the Independent on Sunday before moving to Parma in 1999. He is a regular contributor for the British and Italian press.
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