It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Flowers over the Inferno by Ilaria Tuti today. My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
In a quiet village surrounded by ancient woods and the imposing Italian Alps, a man is found naked with his eyes gouged out. It is the first in a string of gruesome murders.
Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, a detective with a background in criminal profiling, is called to investigate. Battaglia is in her mid-sixties, her rank and expertise hard-won from decades of battling for respect in the male-dominated Italian police force. While she’s not sure she trusts the young city inspector assigned to assist her, she sees right away that this is no ordinary case: buried deep in these mountains are whispers of a dark and dangerous history, possibly tied to a group of eight-year-old children toward whom the killer seems to gravitate.
As Teresa inches closer to the truth, she must also confront the possibility that her body and mind, worn down by age and illness, may fail her before the chase is over.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Well, this is a novel experience. After all the Scandi-Noir that’s flooding onto the crime fiction market, Flowers Over The Inferno leaves Scandinavia far behind and takes us south. To Italy, as a matter of fact. Although, the setting is in the Alps so you know, it’s still cold and there’s still snow. But still.
There we meet Detective Teresa Battaligia. If you’re a wee tired of the stereotypical detective in your crime fiction, you’ll absolutely love Teresa. She’s not your average spring chicken being as she’s in her sixties, slightly overweight, definitely a diabetic and also struggling with some other health issues she’s not yet quite ready to face when we first meet her. But Teresa has decades of experience, knows a thing or two about profiling, and is an indomitable force to be reckoned with.
A naked man is found dead in the forest with his eyes gouged out. Teresa’s instincts immediately tell her this is no ordinary case but can she catch the killer before they strike again? A young city inspector, Marini, is assigned to her team to help out but Teresa isn’t sure about him. Despite Marini’s various attempts to win over his new boss, she seems to think he’s the most incompetent person ever.
Most of the action plays itself out in the present day but we also get glimpses into events from the past that are rather harrowing from the get-go. I don’t want to say anything else about that but suffice to say someone’s dark and tragic past will heavily influence the present. These bits of information are fed to the reader throughout the story, always immensely enticing but not giving away too much information so I was trying insanely hard to pick up clues somewhere along the way and true to form, failing miserably. It’s not the easiest of topics and in a somewhat odd way, I was left to sympathise with the wrong characters.
Flowers over the Inferno is intense, gripping and incredibly addictive. It’s easy to see why this introduction to Teresa Battaglia was the biggest debut of last year in Italy. It’s not only the investigation into the murder that keeps the reader’s attention, it’s also the fabulous character that is Teresa herself. While her health may make her vulnerable, she refuses to give in, which makes her someone to be admired and someone you root for.
This is the first instalment in a trilogy and I absolutely can’t wait for the next book and an opportunity to catch up with Teresa again.
Flowers over the Inferno is available to buy!
| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |
ILARIA TUTI lives in Friuli, in the far north-eastern part of Italy. FLOWERS OVER THE INFERNO, her debut novel and the first book in the Teresa Battaglia trilogy, was a top 10 bestseller on publication and the biggest debut of 2018 in Italy.