Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Drowning River-Christobel Kent

The Drowning River
Christobel Kent
Minotaur, Jul 6 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312621018

Sandro Cellini was forced to leave the police department before the scandal destroyed him. He has opened up a private investigative firm in Florence, but four days into his vigil, he is bored and concerned that no case has come his way.

However, his optimism is renewed when elderly Lucia Gentileschi wants to hire him to investigate the death of her architect husband Claudio. He drowned in what the police declared is a suicide but she insists he was murdered. Although he feels for the widow needing her husband to have died by someone else’s hands, he struggles not to allow his sympathy for the senora to cloud his judgment; especially as the case hits home with what has happened to him and his loyal wife Luisa.

British art student Iris March refuses to cover up the night life of her roommate Veronica "Ronnie" Hutton any longer. However when Ronnie vanishes, police detective Falco senses her guilt and misinterprets it. Ronnie’s mom Serena arrives at the police station; demanding answers of Falco, who brings her to Sandro. She hires him to find her daughter.

This is a strong Italian investigative psychological thriller that rotates the two cases effortlessly while enabling the audience to know what bothers and frightens the lead character and several of the key secondary players. Both inquiries are solid as Sandro finds intriguing clues that take him all over Florence in the present and to the Holocaust in the Gentileschi investigation. The Downing River is a great Florence thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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