Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Reader's Diary #1844- Tess Gerritsen: Playing with Fire

I read a lot of books traveling to and from Italy recently and am not yet caught up on my blog posts about them. I'm having a little difficulty remembering much and while ordinarily I'd write that off by saying that I'll remember the really good and the really bad and the rest probably didn't deserve much commentary anyway.

However, I do recall that I really enjoyed Tess Gerritsen's Playing with Fire but it took me going to Goodreads to remember almost any details. Though once I got brought up to speed with the plot, it all started to come back to me.

There are essentially two stories going on. In the first (and the frame) story, Julia Andsell finds some handwritten Gypsy music in a store while visiting Italy. When she gets it home and plays it on her violin, it seems to provoke a violent reaction in her young daughter. The second story tells the origin of the sheet music.

Playing with Fire was marvelously entertaining. It was an entrancing mystery, possibly with supernatural elements, and with important historical reminders regarding Italy's dark Nazi past. The ending was surprising but plausible. Julia's character was especially well done. (She felt authentic as she sometimes reminded me of my wife!) The love-torn musicians felt at times a bit too over-the-top to be real, but there are eccentric and obsessed people in real life, so maybe not.

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