Mystery/Thriller Reading Friends discussion

18 views
Group Read Books - archive > Group Read - Playing with Fire Chap 18-21 (end) Spoilers welcome

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14417 comments The first person(s) to post please summarize this segment to guide the discussion.
Chapters 18-21 Julia to the end


message 2: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 1371 comments Francesca takes Julia to her grandmother's apartment. She thinks that the previous owner of the Incendio manuscript was the Italian SS Colonel who had created a new identity for himself. He had never been found or charged with his war crimes. If her suspicions are correct then a prominent Italian politician is his grandson. That's why the surfacing of Incendio has led to murder. She wants Julia's testimony immediately. Julia blacks out in the middle of her testimony and has no memory of events. She finds herself running through the streets with a bleeding arm. She goes to an internet cafe and sends Europol her testimony via e-mail. She also sends it to the Jewish Museum in Venice, Aunt Val and Rob.

Rob comes to meet her in Venice. Julia is taken to a hospital where she learns that she has a brain tumor that has been causing her to black out and commit violent acts. She killed the cat and injured herself. She also has armed guards while Europol investigates her testimony.

Eight years later Julia and the other members of her quartet are performing Incedio at the premiere of a new documentary about Lorenzo Tedesco. After the performance a woman who is related to the Balbini family's servant Alda tells her about Laura Balbini and Lorenzo Tedesco's tragic romance. She also reveals Laura's fate. She and her father were executed by the Nazis for sheltering Jews. This happened before the death of Lorenzo and his fellow musicians at the camp. Julia wonders if Lorenzo sensed her death.

We learn that Lily, who is now eleven, plays the cello. She aspires to be a musician like her mother.


message 3: by Shomeret (last edited Dec 09, 2015 04:44PM) (new)

Shomeret | 1371 comments Julia's tumor leads me to wonder if her mother also had a tumor which caused her to kill her baby. Maybe she wasn't the selfish monster that Val thought she was.

What a moving ending! I was crying when Alda's niece revealed that Laura and her father were executed.

I believe now that Incendio was a parting gift from Laura's spirit sent to Lorenzo in that dream. Other readers may believe that the dream was Lorenzo's unconscious sending him a message that Laura was dead. We can never know for certain.


message 4: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 1270 comments Shomeret, great job with the summaries. You were right all along, I was hopeful that Lorenzo had survived and thats how his music survied. I think too that Laura had a part in the composition of the waltz.
It truly was a moving ending.


message 5: by Sue (last edited Dec 13, 2015 02:25PM) (new)

Sue | 26 comments I enjoyed this section Gerritsen writes thriller so well, this is what I love about Gerritsens work.

Julia having the condition that Lily was suspected of having was surprising but in keeping with my thoughts that the problems lay with her.

I thought the Laura section was sad but I felt conflicted if Laura had not helped the family requiring shelter they would have died but she did help and they died and Laura's and her family died as well it felt like a no win situation made me feel like what is the point. I suppose I wanted Laura to help that family and other families.

I felt like Incendio was a gift from Laura to Lorenzo but wanted Incendio to be more about the people dying in the furnance.

I was actually more touched by the quote at the end of story more than the whole story itself that made me tear up more than anything.

The quote is something like this 'as well as remembering the victims we need to remember the heroes'.


message 6: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14417 comments I loved that the ending of the audio included the historical notes and a three minute segment of violin music that also punctuated the segments between Julia and Lorenzo. This was a very moving story and rather unexpected in the denouement. I did not expect that Julia was the person behind the attacks, though I did think her reaction to falling and blaming Lily was extreme and rather unbalanced.


message 7: by Ann (last edited Dec 31, 2015 05:05PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14417 comments The story of Lorenzo hearing the waltz played by Laura in a dream was so touching and so sad. Finding later that this may have well been the night that she was executed for the kindness and shelter she and her father attempted to provide a Jewish family was heartbreaking.
The revelation that Lily at age 11 is a bright happy girl who loves and is loved by her mother and who is a musician herself - and playing the cello was a bright spot and a fact that gives us pause as the connection to Laura is revealed.


message 8: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1200 comments Ann wrote: "I loved that the ending of the audio included the historical notes and a three minute segment of violin music that also punctuated the segments between Julia and Lorenzo. ."

I also listened to the audio version and thought the production was very well done. Both narrators (Julia Whelan &Will Damron) did a great job and the music pieces really added to the story. I preferred the historical sections and found that story to be the more moving and better written. I did have some problems with the contemporary sections and thought its ending was a bit too convenient.


message 9: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14417 comments Sandi: i liked the historical segments more too and think it was from the depth of Lorenzo and Laura's story and the historical characters compared to a contemporary story that didn't quite make sense, had only a little music and the confusion of possible explanations for what Julia experienced.


message 10: by Anne (new)

Anne | 143 comments I think like everyone here I was moved by the story. I felt there was more in Lorenzo's story but also that it was powerul and not sentimental. I think Gerritsen treated the subject in way that was both moving and thought provoking. I initially thought the final chapters were brief, that everything about the shooting, meeting Francesca and explaining Julia's actions was rather quick. Yet, this didn't spoil the book it just confirmed a shift - the beginning if the book was dominated by Julia and the ending was focused on thinking about Lorenzo, Laura, the love and the terror.


message 11: by Sherry (new)

Sherry  | 3621 comments Anne wrote: "I think like everyone here I was moved by the story. I felt there was more in Lorenzo's story but also that it was powerul and not sentimental. I think Gerritsen treated the subject in way that was..."

anne,
i totally agree about that "rushed" feeling at the end of the book. it all seemed to wrap up very quickly. also agree that it didn't spoil the book for me.


back to top