corner corner A Death in Tuscany (Michele Ferrara)


A Death in Tuscany (Michele Ferrara)
by Michele Giuttari | Mystery & Thrillers
Registered by LindyLouMac of Tywyn, Wales United Kingdom on 8/8/2011
Average 6 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by LazioExplorer): travelling

2 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by LindyLouMac from Tywyn, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, August 08, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Product Description
In the picturesque Tuscan hill town of Scandicci, the body of a girl is discovered. Scantily dressed, she is lying by the edge of the woods. The local police investigate the case - but after a week, they still haven't even identified her, let alone got to the bottom of how she died. Frustrated by the lack of progress, Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara, head of Florence's elite Squadra Mobile, decides to step in. Because toxins were discovered in the girl's body, many assumed that she died of a self-inflicted drugs overdose. But Ferrara quickly realises that the truth is darker than that: he believes that the girl was murdered. And when he delves deeper, there are many aspects to the case that convince Ferrara that the girl's death is part of a sinister conspiracy - a conspiracy that has its roots in the very foundations of Tuscan society... 

Journal Entry 2 by LindyLouMac at Viterbo, Lazio Italy on Monday, August 22, 2011

6 out of 10

Whilst the title for this book is not very imaginative, it is the reason I was drawn to pick this up for the Italy in Books - Reading Challenge 2011. This is not a genre I read a great deal of and the author is not familiar to me so I do not feel I can compare him with others that write books set in Italy in this genre of which there are quite a few.

Michele Giuattari is a former Florence Police Chief so he does have an insiders advantage on the understanding of how the police and legal system work within Italy. This I think is certainly the sort of case that is sadly based on current issues in the real world, so fiction that has fact behind it.

The story is about the investigation into the death of a young girl hardly more than a child, whom it is assumed died of a drug overdose. The case is taken on by Chief Superintendent Michele Ferrara and he quickly realises that this is far more than a simple overdose death. He believes that the girl was murdered and as he investigates becomes convinced it is part of a much wider conspiracy. It even turns out that there is a sinister connection between this case and the disappearance of a close friend of his!

The speech appears stilted at times but I think this is just because English is not the original language. There are many characters and I did not find any of them particularly memorable, but the plot line was strong enough to hold my attention in what was a quick light read. What was of interest is the setting of Florence and the surrounding countryside, appealing if you know the area and maybe tempting you to visit if you do not. An average read then for those of us interested in Italy and or the crime novel. I doubt if I would have picked this up if it were not for the Italy in Books - Reading Challenge 2011 though.

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Journal Entry 3 by LindyLouMac at sent in the post, Given to a potential Bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, August 27, 2011

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Released 6 yrs ago (8/27/2011 UTC) at sent in the post, Given to a potential Bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases


En route to a blogging friend, a potential Bookcrosser.
Dear Finder of this book,

I'm so glad it has found a home with you. I hope you enjoy reading it and that you might take a few moments to jot down here what you thought about the book, or about finding it, or about bookcrossing.

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Happy reading


Journal Entry 4 by LazioExplorer at Stimigliano, Lazio Italy on Tuesday, November 29, 2011

7 out of 10

A Death in Tuscany, by Michele Giuttari, is a relatively fast-paced crime thriller that follows the head of Florence's elite Squadra Mobile as he tackles an ever-evolving case that starts with the discovery of a young girl's body and leads to with him fearing for his career, friends, and his own life. The young girl is suspected of dying of a drug overdose, of being a 'druggie' and the case is quickly filed away, both at the police station and the local hospital. However, Michele Ferrara, the police chief, feels that something isn't right. Partly the speed with which the doctors are quick to judge the girl, compounded by their ideas that she could be an immigrant and therefore even less trouble to deal with, and partly the fact that the girl is "little more than a child", leads Michele to start to investigate further, drawing unwanted attention from various nefarious powers and dragging him deeper into a world far beyond his powers. It sounds a little far-fetched when I write it like that, but the story moves along at a good pace and is sadly quite believable. I found the book easy to read and interesting enough to pick-up every night. The story itself isn't too complex, but there were enough twists and turns to keep this admittedly novice crime thriller reader happy.

The author is a former head of the Florence police force, and this certainly helps give some authenticity and weight to the story. However, at times the plot seemed to be a bit too convoluted and formulaic. One could guarantee that at some point, some mafia or secret society would be involved (yes), that his peers and superiors would disown him (infatti), but that, through it all, his natural superiority and intellect ensures he prevails against all adversity (predictably). In short, while I enjoyed the start of the book, as it wore on, and layer upon layer of cliched Hollywood movie-style faux-complexity is heaped upon the reader's sagging shoulders, I found myself having to suspend belief and simply roll with it as it turned from a detailed crime thriller into a crime joyride. Having said that, there's nothing wrong with a crime thriller taking liberties with the plot and plausibility (just ask Dan Brown) and I still enjoyed the ride.

Overall then, I enjoyed it. While not being my usual type of book, and while I'm sure there are far better examples of Italian crime novels, for example the Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri or Romanzo Criminale by Giancarlo de Cataldo, I can recommend A Death in Tuscany as a quick read for someone who's happy to suspend belief a few times and go with the flow. It's enjoyable, if a little too 'Hollywood' at times. 

Journal Entry 5 by LazioExplorer at Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This book has not been rated.

I'd like to thank LindyLouMac for sending the book to me. I'm happy to send it on to anyone who is interested in reading it (in Europe or the US, sorry!) Go to
to let me know if you're interested. 

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