Saturday, November 17, 2018

Review: Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen

A beautiful violinist is haunted by a very old piece of music she finds in a strange antique shop in Rome.

The first time Julia Ansdell picks up The Incendio Waltz, she knows it’s a strikingly unusual composition. But while playing the piece, Julia blacks out and awakens to find her young daughter implicated in acts of surprising violence. And when she travels to Venice to find the previous owner of the music, she uncovers a dark secret that involves dangerously powerful people—a family who would stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.

Paperback, 290 pages
Published October 27th, 2015
 by Ballantine Books 

Tess Gerritsen was a go-to for me back before historical fiction took over my reading life. It’s been many years since I’ve read her books with Rizzoli and Isles. It was last month when she was a keynote speaker at the 2018 Surrey International Writers Conference that had me purchasing Playing with Fire. She was talking about her inspiration for writing this book, from a trip to Venice, visiting an old Jewish ghetto and a dream that got the ball rolling.

Told in 2 time periods, one current day as well as World War 2 in Venice. Coming in at approx 250 pages one would think there isn't a lot of time for depth and character development but this book packs a lot of punch, both on the mystery and emotional level. The view during the war had Venice playing center stage - a location not often visited in this time period.  It was told in an emotional manner that kept me guessing at the connection to the current story. The mystery was intriguing and kept me on my toes.

There are wonderful pages at the end with an author interview digging deeper into the history of the time as well as a link to The Incendio Waltz. Check out her page here.

I’m glad that I read this, think I’ll pick up more of her books again.

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