A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.
The Namesake, by Conor Fitzgerald (Bloomsbury):
While some other Irish crime writers set their fiction on the Emerald Isle, Conor Fitzgerald (the pen name of Conor Deane, son of poet Seamus Deane) has so far preferred Italy as a storytelling locale. His first novel, The Dogs of Rome (2010), introduced police chief commissioner Alec Blume, a lonerish and endearingly flawed American expatriate who’s lived for almost two dozen years in Rome. It sequel, The Fatal Touch, ranked among January Magazine’s favorite books of 2011. Now comes The Namesake, which commences with the killing of magistrate Matteo Arconti’s namesake, an insurance man from Milan. This act was a particularly callous message of resistance to the magistrate’s investigation of the Calabrian mafia. Commissario Blume, already busy with a homicide connected to an arrogant mafia boss who’s been pulling strings from the safety of Germany, hands the new case over to his live-in partner, Caterina Mattiola, whilst he embarks on a journey designed to draw his own elusive quarry out into the open.