THE DROWNING RIVER by Christobel Kent


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A melancholy private investigator tackles two murky murder cases.

Alternating narratives unfold a pair of dark Florentine mysteries. Having recently left the police department under a cloud, not-so-young former detective Sandro Cellini gets his first case after four days of pessimistic waiting. Elderly Lucia Gentileschi still seems baffled by the drowning of her husband Claudio in what police have ruled a suicide but that she believes must have been murder. The empathy Senora Gentileschi triggers in Sandro threatens the objectivity he needs to investigate and discloses unsettling parallels to his own downward spiral with his devoted wife Luisa. Meanwhile, British art student Iris March is tired of covering for frivolous roommate and fellow student Veronica “Ronnie” Hutton, who regularly cuts class and spends many nights sleeping around. But when Ronnie goes missing, Iris finds herself under uncomfortable scrutiny by suddenly solicitous instructors Paolo and Anna Massi and questioned with cool precision by police detective Falco. Iris’s guilt and insecurity on the streets of the city thrust her into the arms of American party boy Jackson. Learning that Claudio is a concentration-camp survivor, Sandro finds unusual financial transactions in his bank accounts. Just when the drowning is becoming an obsession, Falco hooks him up with Ronnie’s wealthy, demanding mother Serena, naturally distraught about her daughter’s disappearance. Could the two mysteries be related?

More psychological thriller than whodunit, Sandro’s third (A Time of Mourning, 2009, etc.) moves with a somber and compelling intensity.

Pub Date: July 6th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-312-62101-8
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2010


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