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Playing with Fire

Tess Gerritsen

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Bantam Press

Published : 2015

Copyright : Tess Gerritsen 2015

ISBN-10 : HB 0-593-07529-3
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-593-07529-6

Publisher's Write-Up

What if your child wanted you dead?

Julia doesn't understand what is happening to her daughter, but she thinks she knows what's causing it. She is terrified for Lily, and for herself, but what scares her more is that no one believes her.

If she is going to help Lily, she will have to find the answers alone, embarking on a search that will take her to the shadowy back streets of Venice.

There, Julia uncovers a heartbreaking, long-buried tale of tragedy and devastation - a discovery that puts her in serious danger. Some people will do anything in their power to keep the truth silent...

'Deeply creepy, seriously clever.'

Sharon Bolton

'Tess Gerritsen is at the top of her game. Compelling and satisfying, this eerie, suspenseful novel had me turning the pages until the early hours.'

Paula Daly

'I defy you to read the first chapter and not singe your fingers reading all the rest. It's that compelling. It's that good.'

David Baldacci
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (021115) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
This is a story of two parts, the first is set in the present day, the second is set in the first half of the 20th century and spans a lifetime. The two narratives are interspersed, with the reader being non-the-wiser about what may come in either timeline.

Julia is a musician, a professional violinist. She is married with a beautiful little girl called Lily. When she travels to perform, she buys nice things which remind her of the places that she has been. On a visit to Rome, she finds an old, unfamiliar piece of music, entitled Incendio, it opens with a waltz, but then it changes, the tone becomes darker and more difficult to play. She buys it and once home, cannot wait to play it, but when she tries to practice it, something seems to happen to her daughter. Something disturbing. Following medical tests, nothing appears wrong with Lily, but Julia thinks that the piece of music has something to do with the change in her daughter and tries to find the origin of the piece.

Lorenzo is also a violinist, only half a world and almost a century away. He has an heirloom violin which was handed down from his grandfather. When giving this precious instrument to his grandson, he tells him that the violin is called ‘La Dianora’, the sorceress in English, and she is meant to last many lifetimes, not just Lorenzo’s. As a young man, Lorenzo is hoping to study music at University and become a professional musician. His grandfather encourages him to enter a well-regarded competition with the daughter of a friend. He is unsure about playing with another person but attends out of affection for his grandfather and meets a lovely yet challenging young lady called Laura. Their story develops against a background of cultural change in Italy.

The entwining of the two stories completely enveloped me, whichever story I was reading, I was immersed. Both stories have a sinister undertone, and there are suggestions of the otherworldly as well as the human, keeping you guessing as you read. The story is fascinating, heart-breaking and leaves you with a sense of disquiet. If you read this expecting a police procedural or tale of Rizzoli and Isles, then you may be surprised at this standalone thriller, but you will be delighted at the range of Ms. Gerritsen.

A truly original and well thought out novel.
Chrissi (2nd November 2015)

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