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The Memory Key (Commissario Alec Blume #4)
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The Memory Key (Commissario Alec Blume #4)

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  82 ratings  ·  13 reviews
"In the latest Commissario Alec Blume novel, our hero is called in by old friend magistrate Principe to "shadow" an investigation into the attempted murder of a former fascist terrorist responsible for a public bombing thirty years earlier. This investigation is adjacent to another: the murder of a young woman on the university campus of Rome. The apparent link between the ...more
Kindle Edition, Bloomsbury USA; 1 edition, 321 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA (first published May 14th 2013)
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Kathleen Dixon
I haven't read the three previous Alec Blume books, but I think I'll enjoy them. This one was on a New Arrivals stand at the library - the title grabbed hold of me and the blurb looked interesting. And yes, it didn't disappoint.

Alec Blume is an American living in Italy. Well, he has dual citizenship so he's half-American and half-Italian. I think I've got that right. Anyway, he's a policeman, a Commissioner, he lives with his partner (who works in the same department) and her son. They - he and
This Commissioner Alec Blume mystery, set in Italy, starts out with the scene of a horrific train bombing, perpetrated by a young blond woman. In the first chapter, one finds out that the same woman was arrested, tried, and did time in prison. After she got out, she was hit by a sniper's bullet, and doomed to life in hospital with both anterograde and retrograde amnesia. Blume is drawn into the case unwillingly by his former mentor, now dying. His focus on the case mars his relationship with Cat ...more
When it came down to the actual mystery which needed to be solved, I enjoyed the book. But the author has way too many pages devoted a technique to remember whatever it is that one needs to remember....and all of it sounded so complex that I thought it to be easier to simply forget the method. All of the time that Commissioner Alec Blume spent trying to make sense of the method just seemed wasted. Hint: If you decide to read the book, you may easily skip anything written in italics once the stor ...more
How strange this was...and on and on and a on...with the memory key for such a little bit of use! Maybe I just wasn't happy with the characters and so concentrated on them I lost track of ...well, the plot.

A little bit slow going at times, but worth it. Alec Blume chases an old terrorist case as the participant leaves jail and gets gunned down. The excellently crafted character Pitagora (a neo-Fascist who is great at explaining the difference between Facism and National Socialism as it pertains today) looks to be the 'memory key' to solving the crime. Blume and Caterina have a rocky relationship that twists into the mystery. Good stuff, again.
Robert J.
After trying to slog through this book in the last week, I gave up. I just can't get interested in the characters, plot, or even the setting. The incoherence of all three makes it very difficult to push through.
I liked this better than the last one, but Blume is still a difficult character to warm up to, much better a cop than a friend or lover for certain.

The sense of place is still excellent - the politics of the rivalry between the State Police and the Carabinieri, the byways and side streets of Rome, and the history of right wing politics and terrorism is all very well done and worth reading. The whole mnemonic technique book tool more space than I wanted it to, though it was interesting for a bit
I enjoyed the three previous Alec Blume novels more than this one. As before, the story seems to accurately depict the convoluted system of criminal justice in Italy, with the conflicts between the police, the carabinieri, and the magistrates, and I enjoyed the back story of the memory system, going all the way back to Giordano Bruno. Alec Blume, however, is revealed as a remarkably unlikable individual, but this won't stop me from reading the next book in the series.
I enjoy this type of mystery, more psychological than thriller-gruesome. Fitzgerald's Detective Alec Blume series takes place in Rome; think of Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti series set in Venice. But Alec Blume is becoming less pleasant; in fact, I don't think I like him anymore. Do I want to spend time with someone I don't really like, even in the pages of a book? Perhaps not - there are lots of other psychological mysteries to choose from.
Really didn't like the main character. His interactions are disjointed & he seems to lurch through life leaving a mess in his wake . I don't think it's likely that I'll give this series another try since the plot wasn't good enough to overcome the unlikable protagonist .
I've enjoyed Mr Fitzgerald' s previous works very much and looked forward to this work's release. Sorry to say it not live up to my expectations; I found it to be dull and lifeless. I'm profoundly disappointed.
Cynthia Lapier
Good story although sometimes I felt like there was just extra verbiage that didn't necessarily add to the story. Do policemen really get into such extensive and philosophic interviews ?
More enjoyable--a better case, easier to follow, even though Blume does a lot of dumb stuff in this one, which is sometimes hard to believe.
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