Published by: MacMillan
A novel rich in character with an atmosphere dripping in intrigue and drama.
Firstly many thanks to the publisher for an arc
Florence. Winter 1536. A prominent moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth.
Cesare Aldo, a former soldier and now an officer of the Renaissance city’s most feared criminal court, is given four days to solve the murder: catch the killer before the feast of Epiphany – or suffer the consequences.
Welcome to the world of Aldo Cesare where power and money rule.
It is difficult to find the words to do the book justice, for me in any book the characters are King they make what follows feel real, in this book the characters just sing to you, they almost come fully rounded, you can feel that each has been well thought out each critical to the plot. Aldo carries secrets he must preserve, he as a loyalty to the Duke and whilst caring with a certain honesty he is prepared to fight for his survival, definitely an engaging character.
There are two seemingly separate murders to be investigated, however as one deals with homosexuality it is not given as much credence as the death of a Jewish money lender by those who wield the power, the book deals with those in abject poverty equally as those whose wealth can also be their downfall. The plot is full of political greed and intrigue as there are those who would like to rule. Dangers abound around every corner, and as Aldo comes close to uncovering the truth, this could also be his downfall, there are those who are prepared to stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden. Murder and mystery abound, with plenty of political machinations.
The book takes place over a short time frame and this adds to the believability, bearing in mind when the book is set the pace of the pacing is spot on, as to the detail and the period in which the book is set, clearly the author has done his research and superbly blended certain facts into fiction of the highest order.
However,It is the writing which shines throughout, there is depth and the way the book is written makes you feel as though you are there on the page lurking in the shadows, wonderfully descriptive passages. There are scenes within the La Stinche prison in which you feel the terrors and horrors in which the prisoners endured. Whilst the book deals with the horrors of death, there are moments of tenderness
The book draws you in from the opening pages and doesn’t let go, packed with plenty of drama, intrigue, and plot twists, the ending when it comes is a highly satisfying conclusion.
One to watch, this was a joy to read, highly compelling and one I would heartily recommend, eagerly await the return of Aldo and his fellow officers
About the author:
D V Bishop is an award-winning screen writer and TV dramatist. City of Vengeance won the pitch perfect competition at Bloody Scotland 2018, and he was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship by the Scottish book trust while writing the novel.