S.D.'s Reviews > The Fatal Touch

The Fatal Touch by Conor Fitzgerald
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Aug 06, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery
Read in August, 2011

Alec Blume is an American-born commissioner for the Italian police. The death of what looks to be a town drunk could be a mugging or a homicide. But when it is discovered that the deceased is a famous art forger, the case is mysteriously handed over to a semi-retired former secret service agent, Corporal Farinelli who has a questionable reputation. Blume relies on a new recruit formerly with immigration. Inspector Caterina Mattiola has to prove herself to the men in the department whom she out-ranks which isn’t an easy task. Blume secretly works the homicide angle on Henry Treacy, the art forger. Treacy had a strained relationship with his partner, John Nightingale, as well as his former lover, Angela, who is now with John. Blume plays a cat and mouse game with the Colonel when he finds volumes of diaries Treacy planned on publishing as well as paintings that could or could not be forgeries. The Colonel is mentioned in the diaries as is Nightingale. The Colonel isn’t above threatening people, first Caterina’s son, and then Blume’s ex-cop friend who operates below the radar. Blume reminds me a lot of Louise Penny’s Inspector Armand Gamache. They both are more cerebral detectives vs pounding through doors with guns blazing. The author dishes out history lessons in art and forgeries in large dollops which are fascinating. This is one series I will definitely follow.
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