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Posted December 9, 2008
fine Roman police procedural
In Rome, Laila, a homeless Iraqi refugee seeks warmth from the wintry weather when she observes the brutal murder in the Pantheon. The victim is naked with mystical carvings etched into the flesh and positioned apparently to mimic Leonardo da Vinci¿s The Vitruvian Man. Roman detectives Gianni Peroni and Nic Costa places the witness under police protection with pathologist Teresa Lupo ¿mothering¿ theyoungster who saw so much death and destruction at home and now in Rome. --- The two Italian cops investigate the homicide when FBI agent Joel Leapman orders them to back off or else while his Fed partner Emily Deacon tries to be diplomatic asking the locals to stay out of the case as it is part of a wider global investigation into a killer with no boundaries. Others Rome homicides occur, but neither Peroni or Lupo can understand the meaning of the religious symbolism and positioning of each corpse. The Italian police wonder whether it is a ritual killing or a calling card to play cat-and-mouse with the cops and are angry that the Feds know so much more but offer nothing to further the Roman inquiries. --- The third Roman police procedural starring Peroni and Costa is a fabulous thriller that has the audience enticed and captured by the opening moment when Laila is introduced to the reader. The story line is filled with twists as the readers like the two local detectives wonder if a religious serial killer is at work and what is the culprit trying to accomplish. The Feds add obxiousness especially the rude Leapman while omitting what they know about the killer. Fans will fully appreciate this strong tale while wondering for most of the novel where David Hewson is guiding us. --- Harriet Klausner
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