- Cochin, Mumbai, India
- member since September 10, 2007
BeckyL finished reading a book.
BeckyL rated a book.
BeckyL rated a book.
BeckyL reviewed a book.
“It has been decades since Ben Solomon last saw Otto Piatek. A Jew and a German during WWII, the two boys were raised together as brothers until the Nazis invaded Poland. Where they were once like brothers, they gradually became enemies with Piatek betraying the family that had treated him as one...”
“It has been decades since Ben Solomon last saw Otto Piatek. A Jew and a German during WWII, the two boys were raised together as brothers until the Nazis invaded Poland. Where they were once like brothers, they gradually became enemies with Piatek betraying the family that had treated him as one of their own. When Ben sees Elliot Rosenzweig in Chicago, he immediately recognizes him as Piatek. But Rosenzweig is a well respected member of Chicago society. What's more Rosenzweig claims to be a Holocaust survivor himself. Solomon is insistent, however, and with the help of a local attorney hopes to force Rosenzweig into publicly admitting he is Piatek.
It's a bit strange to admit but I am drawn to WWII (and WWI now that I think about it) stories. In part I'm sure it's because this is a part of history that I didn't personally experience. It's hard to even imagine all things considered. And yet there are some works - both books and movies - that draw such a vivid and horrific picture of that time period that it does allow the reader to almost (almost but never completely) see and understand some aspects of the period in question.
I also enjoy them - enjoy seems like an odd word to use - because of the fact that I don't feel any of my own history classes did anywhere near an adequate job of portraying the different facets of this war and the people involved. Don't get me wrong, what I recall of the Fall of Europe course I took in college and my fabulous professor was great, but I definitely don't remember much about Poland for example, which is much of the focus of this particular story.
Anyway, my point is that when Ronald H. Balson's self published debut caught the eye of the folks at St. Martins, which in turn landed a review copy in my hands, it was very much at the top of my "to read" stack along with a few of its brethren, THE BOOK THIEF and THE PARIS ARCHITECT. And the reading came quick on the heels of having watched MY BEST ENEMY and THE ROUND UP.
Balson's book does take a bit of a different approach in that it is narrated from the point of view of Ben Solomon in 2004. The story he relays is of course leading up to and during WWII but under the premise that he is telling his story to hopefully gain retribution so many years after the fact. It doesn't downplay the seriousness of his story in any way, but it does allow Balson an opportunity to explain some of the facts to a readership that may not outright understand it all.
Unfortunately it's also my one complaint about the book. There are times when Solomon's explanations to Catherine and his answers to her questions, posed as someone who obviously didn't experience Nazi occupation in Poland, become a bit dry and too much like a classroom setting. Not enough to turn off a reader in my opinion, but it did affect the overall pacing, bogging down parts of the story.
It was clear that the author took great pains to get the facts correct in the book and all in all it was a very good read.”
BeckyL reviewed a book.
“Sandra's husband has been dead for over five months now but she's done everything she can to avoid dealing with the loss. As an investigative journalist, his work sent him all over the globe. At the time of his death he was supposed to be in Oslo, or at least that's what he'd told her. Why then...”
“Sandra's husband has been dead for over five months now but she's done everything she can to avoid dealing with the loss. As an investigative journalist, his work sent him all over the globe. At the time of his death he was supposed to be in Oslo, or at least that's what he'd told her. Why then was his body discovered in Rome? Unable to bear the thought that he could have been hiding something, Sandra has yet to even go through his bags from the trip. But a call from Interpol finally prompts her to do so propelling her into an investigation that she believes may have led to her husband's murder.
THE LOST GIRLS OF ROME is a testament to plotting brilliance! From the very start there are so many threads of story that it seems almost impossible they'll all connect. But connect they do and in a way that I'd bet even the most savvy mystery and thriller reader will never predict! THE WHISPERER easily landed Carrisi on my favorites list but I think THE LOST GIRLS OF ROME still managed to surpass my expectations.
First you have a medic whose sister was kidnapped. The prologue begins with a call to a remote estate and a dying man with the words "Kill me" written on his chest. Near his body, one of the only clues to the medic's sister's disappearance.
Next you have Marcus and Clemente investigating the home of a missing girl. The girl may be tied to the medic's missing sister and the man from the beginning but it's Marcus's job not only to determine how but to hopefully find the missing girl.
Then you have Sandra, a cop whose husband's recent death was ruled an accident. As mentioned above, he was secretive about where he really was on his most recent job and Sandra has put off dealing with everything associated with his death.
And finally you have the hunter, a mysterious character stalking a mastermind criminal able to hide seemingly in plain view.
I won't give anything else away but I will tell you that like Carrisi's debut, THE WHISPERER, THE LOST GIRLS OF ROME is exceptional and extremely dark! And like it's predecessor, this latest also has a number of clever twists.
THE LOST GIRLS OF ROME is translated from Italian by Howard Curtis. As translations go, both this title and Carrisi's previous one are outstanding. Really an all around highly recommended read in my opinion, especially if you like your thrillers dark and twisty!”