Monday, 23 May 2011

Book Review: BLOOD SISTERS BY ALESSANDRO PERISSINOTTO

Genre:  Mystery
Published by:  Hersilia Press  (Feb 2011)
Pages:  253  (Paperback)
Source:  Received from the publisher
My Rating:  8/10

About the Book:

The countryside around Milan is wrapped in eerie darkness as psychologist Anna Pavesi digs in the icy soil, looking for...what? Just over a week earlier, Anna had been approached with a request to investigate a fatal road accident and a missing body. Anna is no detective, but she was short of money and agreed to take on the assignment, leading her into a labyrinth of false clues and wilful deception in which nothing is as it seems. As she digs deeper, Anna realises that even her own life may be in danger...

If you’re looking for a story with non-stop action at a fast pace, with lots of blood and violence and a quick-witted detective, then this is not the book for you.  If you’re looking for a story that carries you along at a steady pace, building up the tension slowly, featuring an amateur (but not amateurish) sleuth and a plot that takes you down a different path to the one you were expecting, then this is for you!

Narrator and psychologist Anna Pavesi is unwilling at first to take on the job offered by the unfriendly Benedetta Vitali to look for her half-sister’s body which has gone missing from her coffin...... as she says “My job is to talk to people and try to understand them, which isn’t easy to do with someone who’s dead. I work with the living.”  But the offer of a large amount of money persuades her and soon she is investigating this mysterious disappearance.

The story starts in the present as Anna is digging in the gloomy undergrowth of the South Milan Agricultural Park late at night, and she looks back over the events of the past week which have brought her to this terrifying predicament.

She had travelled around the foggy surroundings of Milan taking to various people who came into contact with the dead woman, pretending to be her relation, from the doctors who treated her in the hospital, the prostitutes who she passed every day to work, to her employer.  As she tries to discover why anyone would want to steal a body she realises that the young woman was murdered and starts to suspect everyone of being implicated but they can't all be involved, can they?  And, if so, why?

Anna was a very likeable young woman, she’s insecure, pushing 40 and newly single, and I was interested in her life and the people around her who she talked about quite often.   I don’t know if this the first of a series featuring her but I hope so.

I liked the descriptions of the Italian countryside and the towns, I thought the overall story was original  and the writing flowed easily, and I didn’t guess the ending!  I also thought the translation from Italian by Howard Curtis was spot on.

My Thanks to Hersilia Press for sending me this book to review.  To download the first chapter please see their website.

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