In the first novel of a trilogy set in Venice, an Italian policewoman and a female U.S. Army officer investigate the murders of two women who threatened to expose dark secrets about America's involvement in the Bosnian War.
Ambitious Carabinieri Capt. Katerina Tapo is on her first homicide case. Her American counterpart, 2nd Lt. Holly Boland, who grew up in Pisa as an Army brat, has just been posted to Italy. A young Croatian woman shockingly dressed in the robes of a Catholic priest and tattooed with mysterious symbols washes up in the Grand Canal, and a female American activist probing illicit U.S. support of Croatia in the '90s war is found with two bullets in her head. Powerful interests in Venice will do anything to hide the truth about U.S. operations in the former Yugoslavia, where Serbian and Croatian girls were forced into prostitution and tortured. After their paths intersect, Kat and Holly are targeted themselves. This all takes place under the watchful eye of Daniele Barbo, the genius bad boy of social networking, who created Carnivia, a 3-D simulation of Venice where members meet through avatars and share secrets. Whether Daniele is out to help or hinder Kat and Holly is one of the mysteries of this book, which has more than enough plot and well-drawn characters to stir interest in the sequels. The Carnivia site is such a clever invention an entire novel could be set inside its "walls."
A skillfully rendered debut by a London ad man.