Good Blood (Gideon Oliver Series #11)

Good Blood (Gideon Oliver Series #11)

4.5 4
by Aaron Elkins
     
 

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What was supposed to be an Italian vacation for forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver and his wife turns into a busman's holiday when their hosts' only child goes missing--and nearby construction workers unearth human bones. The family awaits Oliver's conclusions with both dread and cautious hope. But along the way, he'll expose some extraordinary deceptions that lay… See more details below

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Overview

What was supposed to be an Italian vacation for forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver and his wife turns into a busman's holiday when their hosts' only child goes missing--and nearby construction workers unearth human bones. The family awaits Oliver's conclusions with both dread and cautious hope. But along the way, he'll expose some extraordinary deceptions that lay bare the long-hidden secrets at the dark heart of a highborn family.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in the charming village of Stresa on Italy's Lake Maggiore, Elkins's 11th mystery to feature Gideon Oliver (after 2000's Edgar-winning Skeleton Dance) shows the forensic anthropologist in fine form. Oliver's half-Italian friend Phil Boyajian decides to combine a visit to relatives with a tour he's organizing, and invites Oliver and his wife to come along. As fate would have it-and Elkins is so good at acknowledging mystery conventions, often tongue-in-cheek-Phil's cousin, the bratty Achille de Grazia, has just been kidnapped. The local official, Colonnello Tullio Caravale, doesn't welcome Oliver's advice until an old set of bones turns up. Caravale, in a gently presented but highly amusing detail, admits that he once spent six hours classifying bones only to be told they were not human but rabbit. He's willing, therefore, to accept Oliver's expert help, and their evolving relationship is nicely evoked. The bones are identified as belonging to the kidnapped boy's grandfather, who was presumed dead in a sailing accident 10 years earlier. Clearly the two crimes are related, and the most likely suspects are the eccentric members of the de Grazia family, who live on a private island in a life of supreme physical ease but excruciating psychological discomfort. The distinct personalities of the de Grazias and other characters are sketched with great efficiency and precision. That alone would keep a reader's interest, but the forensic facts Elkins chooses to include and the brisk pace of the plot make for a total success. (Feb. 3) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In Skeleton Dance, forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver and his park ranger wife, Julie, solved a crime in France. This time, they are on holiday in Italy, helping a friend host a tour featuring canoeing and bicycle riding. Since neither activity is Gideon's idea of fun, he lounges around the picturesque town of Stresa and is pulled, consequently, into the investigation of recently uncovered bones, which turn out to be connected to a 40-year-old secret baby swap. In turn, the swap is tied to a recent kidnapping involving the wealthy, influential family to which Gideon's tour guide friend is related. If readers can overlook this abundance of coincidences, this is vintage Elkins: well-drawn supporting characters, lovely scenery, and a bit of interesting science. The cast of colorful characters includes members of a large aristocratic Italian family and an Italian police officer who is both tough and humorous. Recommended for popular mystery collections.-Ann Forister, Roseville P.L., CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-When their friend Phil Ungarettis asks Gideon and Julie Oliver to help him run a guided tour in Italy, they are happy to oblige. The scenario changes, though, when Gideon's skills as a forensic pathologist are needed to solve a murder already 10 years old that involves a powerful and socially prominent family, the de Grazias. Phil happens to be both kin and a part of the inner circle, and this connection pulls him and the Olivers deeper into the mystery. As more clues become apparent, the murder proves to be tied to the kidnapping of the de Grazias' only son. Unwinding the clues becomes a responsibility that lands firmly in Gideon's skilled hands. Elkins spends the first part of the book laying the framework of family connections, describing the Italian background of the story, and setting the stage for the discovery of the murder. Once Gideon becomes a prime part of the investigating team, led by the scene-stealing carabinieri Colonel Caravale, the plot moves rapidly along, becoming more interesting and complex with every page. The author infuses the story with a sense of the beauty of Italy, its style of life, and the culture of the area. Weaving complications into the exotic setting, spicing it with details of forensic pathology, and adding memorable characters make for an enticing story.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A bambino bamboozle leads to kidnapping, murder, and a serious reassessment of an old family fortune. The centuries-old de Grazia family, now down to a mere dozen survivors, is suddenly one member closer to extinction. Sixteen-year-old Achille has been kidnapped and is being held for a ransom of five million Euros, a little too rich for his dad Vincenzo, the force behind Aurora Construzioni. Even more troubling, human remains have been found at an Aurora building site, and Colonel Caravale of the carabinieri fears they may belong to the teenager. Luckily, a distant de Grazia relative, camping tour leader Phil Boyjian, has arrived on the shores of Lake Maggiore with his good friends Julie and Gideon Oliver. Since Gideon is a famous forensic anthropologist (Skeleton Dance, 2000, etc.), Caravale asks him to help. Mama Mia! Those bones actually belong to long-dead family patriarch Domenico, supposedly lost in a boating accident. While Phil reconnects with his childhood crush and Julie minds the campers and the remaining de Grazias bicker and snipe and finagle each other's finances, Gideon is nearly strangled and a doctor is slain, but not before his journal reveals The Truth about Achille's ordeal and Vincenzo and Phil's births, leading to a wildly improbable confrontation with an embittered de Grazia. The prologue, alas, tells all. But stick around for those Italian dinners, which are superb. Agency: Sobel Weber Associates

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440622144
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/01/2005
Series:
Gideon Oliver Series , #11
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
139,781
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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