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Villa Triste (Inspector Pallioti #2)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  1,731 Ratings  ·  291 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
Published January 15th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2010)
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Johanna I finished this book about a week ago, and until just now, I didn't even know it was part of a series! So I would say it definitely stands on its own.…moreI finished this book about a week ago, and until just now, I didn't even know it was part of a series! So I would say it definitely stands on its own. It's not the type of book that I usually read, but I really enjoyed it.(less)
Suzy Topping I read this book, without having read book 1. And thoroughly enjoyed it. And would recommend it to anybody.
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Community Reviews

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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
Oct 01, 2013 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
Patty Brandl
Jul 20, 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
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
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
Mar 10, 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
Oct 10, 2014 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
Aug 15, 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
Feb 12, 2013 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
Nov 02, 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
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
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 -
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
Mar 09, 2013 Ingrid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interessant onderwerp, alleen hier en daar wat theatraal geschreven.
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
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
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
Apr 04, 2015 Badseedgirl rated it really liked it
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
Aug 16, 2013 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
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
May 27, 2016 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had some misconceptions of this book going in:

1) When I picked up this book to start reading on Friday, I mentioned to my husband it was a biggie - over 600 pages. I even mentioned "daunting," though really I just meant it might take some time to finish since I often have time to only read a chapter a night.

3) I must not have fully read the synopsis on the back of the book, because I did not expect to be bounced back from 1943 to the modern era once I hit page 87. When it happened, I was a bit
Mar 01, 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
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
Feb 08, 2017 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a mixture of past and present. A story that unfolds and takes you back to where it all began is great but it doesn't stay in the past as much as I had hoped. It closed out nicely.
Oct 22, 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.
May 08, 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.
Pat Stearman
Apr 10, 2011 Pat Stearman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent - love the Florence setting, love the 'sexiest cop in Italy' and most of all the actual story.
(Partisans in 1943/1944 and a serial killer in 2006)
Lots of twists and some great characters.
Jan 23, 2013 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2013-books
I really liked this until the modern day storyline took way too long to resolve in the end. It starts off so well and held that momentum until about the last 150 pages, when the police procedural takes over. That aspect of the story is not nearly as strong.
Apr 11, 2011 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lifelong-reads
What an interesting story - almost reminded me of the Garden of Finzi Continis. Beautifully written with the juxtaposition of old and new stories, well rounded characters and surprises along the way. Definitely adding this author to my MUST READ list.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 21, 2015 03:12PM  
  • The Golden Hour
  • Jasmine Nights
  • The Madonna of the Almonds
  • The Last Telegram
  • The Conductor
  • Warburg in Rome
  • Flight From Berlin
  • A Kiss from Maddalena
  • Pictures of the Past
  • Far to Go
  • A Murder in Tuscany (Sandro Cellini, #2)
  • The Venetian Mask
  • The Marshal and the Murderer (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery, #5)
  • De lege stad
  • The Keeper of Secrets (Horowitz Chronicles, #1)
  • Schuilplaats
  • How Huge the Night
  • To Find a Mountain
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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