It is thanks to LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program that I received The Dogs of War: A Commissario Alec Blume by Conor Fitzgerald. The Dogs of War is the first of a series of Alec Blume novels - detective mysteries set in present day Rome.
In a hot summer morning, Arturo Clement is sloppily murdered in his Roman apartment by a mysterious slasher. The killing is brutal, amateurish, and by all appearances random. But Clemente is no ordinary victim: He has made enemies by campaigning against illegal dog fighting, and he is married to a prominent politician. And his mistress is Manuela Innocenzi, the daughter of a dangerous crime boss.
By the time police inspector Alec Blume arrives at the crime scene, it has already been compromised. Blume, a clever American expatriate with skeletons in his closet and a disposition against authority, soon realizes that he is being watched from on high. Forced to negotiate with powerful, suspicious people on all sides of teh law, Blume must rely on instinct, drive, and luck to find the killer.
But Blume is contending with more than a search for justice. The murder of his own parents continues to haunt him, and his solitary existence and petulant nature are now beginning to risk more innocent lives. As he careens toward the conclusion of the case, he must decide who to trust, when to take a stand, and when to step back and save his own neck.
The Dogs of Rome is both a riveting detective story and a vision of underground Rome. Blume is a perfect hero for this story: intelligent but flawed, cynical but unafraid. He is a trustworthy and compelling protagonist for this first installment in a gritty and promising series.
I am partial to detective mysteries and especially enjoy those set in exotic locations or historic periods. So, I jumped at the chance to review the first novel in Colin Fitzgerald's Commissario Alec Blume series, The Dogs of War.Set in present day Rome, The Dogs of Rome combines a familiarity with Rome, Roman culture, and Italian politics with a strong and complex detective mystery. Alec Blume is a flawed but engaging character - and a fine detective. When faced with an unusual murder scene, he systematically searches for the truth - wading through corrupted evidence, ignoring pointed directives from his superiors and pressure from both the political elite and powerful players in the criminal world.Alec Blume isn't just driven by a desire to learn the truth - he is sufficiently worldly and the reader realizes that there is more to him than that. But for his cynicism, Blume has a strong appreciation of the innocent and the good, and an appeal to his better self leads him to promise to find the truth no matter where it leads. It leads the reader to on a fascinating chase with unexpected twists and a satisfying conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed The Dogs of Rome by Conor Fitzgerald and am looking forward to reading more adventures of Commissario Alec Blume.
ISBN-10: 1608190153 - Hardcover $25.00
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (March 2, 2010), 400 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher and through LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.
About the Author:
Conor Fitzgerald has lived in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Italy. He has worked as an arts editor, produced a current affairs journal for foreign embassies based in Rome, and founded a successful translation company. He is married with two children and lives in Rome.
Thank you so much to Bloomsbury and the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program for the copy of the book and this review opportunity!