No 2 in the series, and (eventually) Falco heads off to the Bay of Naples for a holiday with best friend Petronius and family, plus his own nephew, Larius. Oh, and an ulterior motive – the ongoing search for the scheming senators who fled Rome after their plot against Emperor Vespasian failed….
Getting hold of The Silver Pigs in itself comprised a mini-quest – requiring a request to retrieve it from Barbican Library stores. As an aside, I appreciate that shelf space is limited, but it is so frustrating that they can’t keep entire series available on the shelves. The same thing afflicts Robin Hobbs’ Farseer novels. But, at least the request/retrieval system is free and efficient.
What didn’t I like ? The cocky attitude and the socially superior male gaze. And then I realised it was a mechanism to show Falco’s failings – the swagger hiding the insecurities and loneliness of a single man in his early 30s.
Straight on to Shadows In Bronze!
(Although I am going to take the diversion into The Course of Honour straight after – Barbican Stores permitting.)
More Scandinavian sleuthing by Oslo Chief Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen.
We meet Hanne in Italy where she fled on the death of her partner, Cecilie.
Back in Oslo, fellow Chief Inspector Billy T is holding the fort in her absence, but struggling with work and chaotic home lives (plural).
When the body of a celebrity chef is found on the steps of the police HQ, Billy T’s world starts to unravel. Things only get more complicated when it turns out that Brede Ziegler had been murdered twice over.
And then Hanne returns, which only serves to rub salt into his emotional and mental wounds.
I particularly like that on the opening page of this novel, we encounter Hairy Mary, the oldest whore in Oslo. We get to learn a lot more about Mary who, as Hanne eventually realises, is the key witness to this confusing crime.
Set against the familiar background of Italian corruption at all levels, The Temptation of Forgiveness is our 27th police procedural in the erudite company of Commissario Guido Brunetti.
When a man is found badly injured after a late night attack on the steps of one of Venice’s many bridges, the victim’s wife turns out to be one of Paola’s colleagues, who’d recently spoken with Brunetti concerning her son’s suspected use of drugs.
As Brunetti and his colleagues – Commissario Griffoni, Ispettore Vianello and Signorina Elettra – investigate, preconceptions and prejudices come into play, and moral dilemmas abound.
An early encounter with Guido Brunetti. Carlo Trevisan, a leading Venetian lawyer, is found murdered on a train on its return to Venice.
Things get uncomfortable at home when Brunetti learns that his teenage daughter Chiara was at school with Trevisan’s daughter, and asks her to help him find out more about the family – much to Paola’s anger.