Thursday, October 25, 2012
Review of A Death in Tuscany by Michele Giuttari (Abacus, 2008, Italian 2005)
A Death in Tuscany is a competent police procedural set in Florence and its surrounds. It’s author used to be head of the Florence police and he knows his procedural details, giving a good insight into how the Italian system works with its divisions between state police, carabinieri and prosecutor’s office. Ferrara is a political astute cop, dedicated to the job, with a healthy disregard for his superiors and liked by his colleagues, and a happy home life. The story is well paced and the characterisation is nicely observed, particularly some of Ferrara’s colleagues. Although the story draws the reader into the investigation and Tuscany region, there are a number of elements that seem a little fanciful, especially the linking of the two main threads, the binding of various players and conspiracy elements that work to undermine its credibility somewhat. Overall, a solid read that deals with some difficult issues.