Books Reviews

Death in August Book Review

By Angela Youngman Jul 28, 2011, 2:18 GMT

Death in August  Book Review

Florence, summer 1963. Inspector Bordelli is one of the few policemen left in the deserted city. He spends his days on routine work, and his nights tormented by the heat and mosquitoes. Suddenly one night, a telephone call gives him a new sense of purpose: the suspected death of a wealthy Signora. Bordelli rushes to her hilltop villa, and picks the locks. The old woman is lying on her bed ...more

It's August 1963. Inspector Bordelli suffering from the searing heat of Florence and wishing he too could flee the city for the coast. Despite the heat, crime is minimal.  Then a wealthy widow is found dead apparently from an asthma attack.

But Bordelli starts to wonder - especially when he discovers that her asthma remedy is fastened too tight to open.  A murder investigation begins.  Suspects are easy to find - two nephews who expect to inherit her fortune, and an eccentric inventor brother.  Everyone has solid alibis but something does not quite add up.  Very atmospheric.

You can feel the heat of a Florentine summer, and the problems of a country still coming to terms with the problems resulting from the Second World War.  Bordelli is caught in the middle - his experiences of the war and the problems of his time. 

The pace is very steady, there are no rapid changes and this perhaps reflects the laid back Italian way of life presented in this book. 

As with any good crime book, there are plenty of clues throughout, but you still cannot work out just who did it until Vichi is ready to tell you. Other books in this series are planned - and I look forward to seeing how Bordelli develops as a crime investigator.



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