THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

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I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I’m FINALLY getting around to reading that were published months or years ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere.

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Under the Tuscan Sun Published Sept. 1997 by Broadway Books

My Rating: 4/5 stars

An enchanting and lyrical look at the life, the traditions, and the cuisine of Tuscany. 

Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people.

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This blurb actually makes this book sound kind of boring but I remember really enjoying the story and I even loved the movie version as well which doesn’t happen all that often. I love the setting of this book because Tuscany is one of my top bucket list places to visit. There’s actually a good deal of romance in this story which the blurb from Goodreads doesn’t mention but which I thoroughly enjoyed reading about. I think the story really centered on the author finding herself at that point in her life and what better place to do that than in Italy with a new man, good food and lots of wine? If you haven’t read this book and you’re doing the PopSugar 2018 Reading Challenge (I am!) this could definitely fulfill at least one of the 40 prompts.

Another reason I chose this for my TBT this week is that Frances Mayes has a new book coming out in April that you may not know about called Women in Sunlight which I requested immediately on netgalley based only on the cover and author…

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Isn’t that a great cover and title?? I then found out it’s about the friendship of four American women in Italy and now I’m even more excited. If there’s wine, romance, and drama involved I’ll be really happy!!

HAPPY READING!!

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere…

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Lynne at Fictionophile

Annie at The Misstery

Amy at Novel Gossip

Diana at A Haven for Booklovers

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

Laura at Snazzy Books

 

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REVIEW: KILL THE FATHER By Sandrone Dazieri

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In this fascinatingly complex thriller, two people, each shattered by their past, team to solve a series of killings and abductions…

When a woman is beheaded in a park outside Rome and her six-year-old son goes missing, the police unit assigned to the case sees an easy solution: they arrest the woman’s husband and await his confession. But the Chief of Rome’s Major Crimes unit doubts things are so simple. Secretly, he lures to the case two of Italy’s top analytical minds: Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli, a fierce, warrior-like detective still reeling from having survived a bloody catastrophe, and Dante Torre, a man who spent his childhood trapped inside a concrete silo. Fed through the gloved hand of a masked kidnapper who called himself “The Father,” Dante emerged from his ordeal with crippling claustrophobia but, also, with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and hyper-observant capacities.

All evidence suggests that the Father is back and active after being dormant for decades. Indeed, he has left tell-tale signs that signal he’s looking forward to a reunion with Dante. But when Columba and Dante begin following the ever-more-bizarre trail of clues, they grasp that what’s really going on is darker than they ever imagined. 

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Kill The Father drew me in from the opening pages with writing so detailed and expressive I  didn’t have a choice but to keep turning the pages as fast as possible. I was immediately  immersed in the life of Dante from “before” when he was the kid being held captive in the silo by a man known as The Father;  the author brilliantly gives just enough info (not graphic though) so I felt disturbed, yet also connected to Dante before he ends the prologue with a doozy of a cliffhanger. This technique of ending the fairly short chapters with cliffhangers continues throughout the book and I have to say it worked to keep me bargaining with myself late into the night for just one more chapter.

We soon meet detective Columba Caselli and get to know her after her survival of what she calls the Disaster. Her PTSD is frightening and disabling for her and she has yet to return to duty. When the murder described in the blurb occurs and the young son goes missing, Columba is called in by her boss Rovere to work discreetly under the radar to find out what the investigating detectives, who’re only focused on the husband, may be missing. He suggests she seek the help of a “consultant” named Dante Torre and from there the story is off and rolling.

Columba and Dante hit it off and despite the issues of each of them they quickly form an alliance and their back and forth banter is THE BEST! It really endeared them both to me and I kept thinking I haven’t enjoyed a partnership so much since reading The Lacey Flint series by Sharon Bolton. The quick dialogue between the two of them and actually between all the characters was SPOT ON! It read like a movie and I quickly became attached to both Columba and Dante as their hunt for The Father intensified.

The novel continues at a fairly quick pace and as the complex puzzle of a plot pulled me deeper and deeper into the fray, I started to realize that this story had way more layers than I initially thought. This book requires close attention to detail. The plot is complex to say the least. The narrative is structured in such a way that we are occasionally taken back in time to “Before” which, for me, didn’t interrupt the flow until I got to the last 35% of the book. At this time, I felt things shifted for me and I was finding myself confused and turning back a few pages to re-read what had happened. This happened several times along with what I felt was a slowing of the narrative. This book is what I would call dense which isn’t a bad thing by any means but with all the threads and the complexity of the plot, I really think it could’ve been trimmed by about 100 pages and not lost any of the suspense or thrills. I’ll finish by saying the ending had a twist that I didn’t see coming. Loved it!! I really enjoyed this American debut and I’ll be waiting with fingers crossed that we haven’t seen the last of Dante and Columba!

4.5/5 Stars

***Update Alert…if you browse through my comments you’ll see that Denise who represents the author confirms that there is definitely going to be a sequel and it sounds like at least one more after that!! So now you all really have to read this one and jump on board NOW, at the start of what promises to be a thrilling series. Can’t wait!***