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Kill The Father by Sandrone Dazieri (translated by Antony Shugaar) (Colomba Caselli #1)

May 12, 2017

 

The rock cast a sharp, dark shadow over a shape huddled on the ground. Please don’t let it be the boy, Colomba thought. Her silent prayer didn’t go unanswered. The corpse belonged to the mother.’

When a woman is killed 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, who survived a childhood abduction by a man known only as ‘The Father’.

All evidence suggests that ‘The Father’ is back and active after being dormant for decades. 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.

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

 

I am so glad I picked up this book. After the fabulous Exquisite I was looking for something quite different and Kill the Father is certainly that. A hefty book of almost 500 pages, Kill The Father is set in Italy, predominantly in Rome, and is a complex, meaty book which really caught and held my interest.

The two key protagonists are each in their own way troubled souls. Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli, is currently on extended leave following her participation in a police raid in Paris which went badly wrong; something she blames herself for. Dante Torre  is a survivor of  his childhood abduction by a man known only as ‘The Father’. Kept for years in a concrete silo, he now has a lifelong claustrophobic fear of confined spaces and a mangled hand to remind him of his lost years.

These two are complex characters who develop a way of working together which is not without its difficulties, but the partnership is one which somehow endures and leads to a greater trust and understanding of each other.

A six-year-old boy and his mother have gone missing from a family picnic. The boy’s father has been arrested, unsurprisingly, when evidence emerges that suggests he was abusive towards his wife, and then his wife is found beheaded. The boy’s shoes are found tied together by the laces, dangling from a tree.

The two are drawn into the case by Colomba’s boss and mentor, Rovere. Head of the Major Crimes Unit, he wants Colomba working on the case off the books, because he has serious misgivings about the way his subordinate is dealing with the case. But he is not in favour with the Prosecutor as a result of Colomba’s disastrous involvement with the French police, so he must keep a low profile on this case until he can be sure that the evidence leads in a different direction.

In a plot that is part police procedural, part crime drama, part psychological thriller and more, this is a complex, intriguing and fascinating book that keeps you reading until you understand how the myriad threads will come together to form a coherent tapestry that lays out the story in all its glory.

There are many surprises, twists and deaths before the story concludes and at times the misdirection is so sublime that you think you know where you are going, just to be sent in entirely another direction. A really strongly plotted book.

Throughout, though, this book is logical, persuasive and coherent and the protagonists are absolutely riveting.

An electrifying, substantial read, Kill The Father left me waiting breathlessly for the sequel.

 

Kill The Father is published by Simon & Schuster UK and was published in Feb 2017

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