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The Namesake (Commissario Alec Blume #3)
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The Namesake (Commissario Alec Blume #3)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  245 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
When magistrate Matteo Arconti's namesake, an insurance man from Milan, is found dead outside the court buildings in Piazzo Clodio, it's a clear warning to the authorities in Rome - a message of defiance and intimidation. Commissioner Alec Blume, interpreting the reference to his other ongoing case, knows he's too close to it.
Paperback, 357 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Bloomsbury Publishing (first published April 4th 2011)
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May 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Perhaps I should just start this off by saying Mafia storylines are possibly my least favourite scenarios. Maybe (and probably unfairly) it seems like an easy target, the other possibility is that there's rarely anything new or illustrative about their activities. Either way, I'm acutely aware that this is a personal prejudice which is undoubtedly irrational and unreasonable.

Adding to the complication was THE NAMESAKE being the third Commissario Alex Blume novel, and my not having read either of
Carey Combe
Jul 29, 2014 rated it liked it
My least favourite so far, but I shall probably persevere.
Ann Tonks
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m torn between giving this book 3 and 4 stars. Like other books in the series, I have problems with the lead character, Alex Blume, his actions and his rationales. There were parts of this story line that felt unfinished or oddly resolved. But it also contain some wonderful characterisations e.g. Basile and Ruggiero. Even if I didn’t “believe” all the story threads, it was an engaging read.
Emily Wheeler
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a review of the book The Namesake, by Conor Fitzgerald. The novel is an Italian crime story, and follows an American-born police commissioner, Alec Blume, as he is drawn into the world of the Calabrian mafia.

I quite enjoy crime fiction. I have a real weakness for a well-written whodunnit, and find it easy to lose myself in that atmosphere. However, I am unused to Italian crime stories, aside from the odd television series like Inspector Montalbano and Rex in Rome. And yes, this does make
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shelleyrae by: Bloomsbury

While this is the third book featuring Commissario Alec Blume, The Namesake is the first I have read from this British author. Part police procedural/part crime thriller, this series is set in Italy and pits Blume, more often than not, against the organised crime families of Italy. In The Namesake, the body of a man who bears the same name as a Magistrate, is dumped outside of a courthouse in Rome, a threat that Blume attributes to the Ndreangheta. Seizing an opportunity that might force Ndreang
Jessica Howard
May 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, mystery
I really love Donna Leon's books, so I was excited when Shelf Awareness sent me The Namesake (an Italian mystery, not to be confused with the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri) for review. It didn't have the same brilliance as Leon's books, but it was still fun, and the mistaken identity premise was intriguing.

In The Namesake, his third Commissario Alec Blume novel, Conor Fitzgerald delves into the mysterious secrets of the 'Ndrangheta--an organized crime syndicate whose constituent families see it as almo
More of a 3.5 than a 4, but since the ending was better than the beginning, I am feeling generous. I have to say, as others have, that Mafia storylines are some of my least favourite in crime novels. With Mafia stories, the crime is all cold-blooded. And all that cloak and dagger stuff just makes me anxious. I hate head games.

Many of the things I liked about the book were tangential to the main storyline. There was a detailed description of a natural remedy for a headache that makes me want to v
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is third in the rather wonderful Alec Blume series and I really enjoyed it. Blume, improbably, is an American orphaned in Italy, who manages to become Italian enough to rise to senior rank in the Italian police. His almost complete disrespect for the rules begs the question of why he wasn't fired years before he achieve the exalted rank of Commisario but now that he's there we can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

This time out he becomes involved with the Ndrangheta, the secretive and wide
May 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, 2012
Each time I read one of Fitzgerald's books, I like Commissario Alec Blume a bit less. I think this might be my last -- he's just not an appealing character, and I have a hard time putting in so many hours reading a book about someone I dislike.

That's kind of a shame, though, because I think the subject matter is promising, even if the books are a bit too focused on organized crime for my taste. I found this one particularly obtuse, though (I wish I had noticed that there was a glossary at the en
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook, 2014
I just couldn't get on with this probably because I was listening to it on audiobook and there were so many Italian names and titles that I struggled to remember who anyone was. Also, the Italian was never translated so that didn't help me with comprehension. I also thought that one of the major characters was a Mafia family rather than a man so I was really confused. I kept ploughing on, hoping that there would be a Grand Exposition at the end a la Poirot but that didn't happen so I am still be ...more
Leonardo Etcheto
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Did not like this one as much as the previous two. Mostly because the criminals are now Mafia and their offshoots and I find that subject quite stilted and gratuitous. Of course eventually Blume has to deal with Mafia since he is in Italy, but every time they appear in crime novels you get a lot of gratuitous violence and death of innocents. Does not make for enjoyable reading for me. Alec also goes of the rails a good bit in this book as he ends up with an “ends justify the means” mindset. The ...more
Diane Wallis
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Asked the local library ages ago for anything by Conor Fitzgerald and was pleasantly surprised to find The Namesake waiting for me last week. Loved the first two in the Alec Blume series and this one maintained the standard. Enjoyed the background and explanation about the various branches of the criminal empires in Italy. Had to put the book down twice because it was too scary. The bullying scene in a bar/ice-cream parlour involving youths from a football team was frightening in the extreme as ...more
Drayton Bird
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is hyped on the cover with a cunningly edited Sunday Times Review which suggests it fills the gap left by Michael Dibdin.

They didn't need to do that, as it - and his other books I have read - are in some ways better, to my mind anyhow. Certainly a lot grittier.

It's all about the Ndranghetta, from Calabria, who are if anything better (and nastier) than the Mafia or the Camorra at what they do. You'll be really worried.

The research is impeccable with brilliant insight into why Italy is i
Deb Novack
This is the first Comissario Alec Blume story that I have read and I don't think I would read another. I did not like Alec Blume, his character was a little bland and uninteresting. I did however enjoy the storyline. I love stories about the Mafia and the locale was great. Although it was not my favorite I would definitely recommend this to all my mystery loving friends to decide for themselves.

Thanks to Net Galley and Bloomsbury.
The third Alec Blume novel and by far the least interesting. Perhaps it is that the Mafia is inherently well-worn territory, or a long, lonely trip for the main character, but this one left me wanting more interesting characters and action. A reasonable plot and the Namesake killing that kicks off the action is fine, but too much Blume internal at the end for me.

Hopefully this series gets back on track with the next one.
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
I liked this less than the other two Blume books. The plot was exceptionally convoluted. The whole Ndrangheta family structure and behavior code is described in excruciating detail - it's a toxic soup of superstition, "honor" and vengeance that has gone on for generations - or centuries. It got to be too much in the end. And Blume is becoming annoying - reckless for no apparent reason, self-centered to the nth degree.
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've read a few mafia books, both fact and fiction. I usually don't enjoy them much - I feel most authors glamorize the crime family. Fitzgerald, without using gratuitous violence or gruesome writing, manages to convey the evil of the 'ndrangheta crime syndicate. That sense made me really root for Alec Blume. A great read, and I will definitely pick up more by Fitzegerald.
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Not so good. Way too many italian names that all sound and read alike, and so a confusing cast of characters. By the end it all pulls together, but unneccessary complications of setting up the story.
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: italy-lust
Great find, interesting, flawed protagonist multi-faceted bad guys and lots of grey area concerning members of the Italian law enforcement. Worth searching out for readers who like police procedure novels
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have read, and liked, all three of Fitzgerald's stories about Comissario Alec Blume. The Dogs of Rome and The Fatal Touch were the first and second books in the series. I think this is the best of the three.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
I think this was my least favorite of the his three. I found the mafia twists and turns confusing and somewhat uninteresting. I agree with the reviewer who said that Blume is becoming less and less likeable.
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm not a fan of mafia-related mysteries/police procedurals, but the Namesake is so rich in character, emotion and Italian color that it drew me in from the first, and made the plot secondary to the enjoyment of the rest of the reading experience
Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I like learning about the Italian scene with the Mafia, Government and the locality angles
Heather Hill
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alec was a bit whiny in this one. And it's hard to follow along w/ all the various types of Italian police forces.
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The death of an insurance man leads Alec Blume into a complex web of organised crime stretching into northern Europe. A rather abrupt ending.
Jan 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Wow, is Commissario Alec Blume cranky!! Maybe book #4 will find him in better spirits, and dealing with a less convoluted (and uninteresting) mystery.
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it
This one felt overly complicated and distant. Not as engaging as the first two.
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great author and another great book
Oct 07, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dull, dull, dull
Jackie G
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought the plot was great. Wish the character development went a little deeper but they are slowly unfolding. Will see what the next one in the series brings
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“I simply believe that you should never tell a friend anything you would conceal from an enemy,’ said Blume.” 0 likes
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