The Dogs of Rome: A Commissario Alec Blume Novel

The Dogs of Rome: A Commissario Alec Blume Novel

by Conor Fitzgerald

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608191154
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 04/09/2010
Series: Commissario Alec Blume Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 167,262
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Conor Fitzgerald has lived in Ireland, the UK, the United States and Italy. He has worked as an arts editor, produced a current affairs journal for foreign embassies based in Rome, and founded a successful translation company. He is married with two children and still lives in Rome.
Conor Fitzgerald has lived in Ireland, the UK, the United States and Italy. He has worked as an arts editor, produced a current affairs journal for foreign embassies based in Rome, and founded a successful translation company. He is married with two children and lives in Rome. The Namesake is the third in his series of Italian Crime novels.

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The Dogs of Rome (Commissario Alec Blue Series #1) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
the_curious_reader More than 1 year ago
And to think I almost didn't download this excellent detective series debut. As a B&N free download with no fanfare, I assumed it would probably be a dud. Wrong. In the heart of Rome, Commissario Alec Blume investigates the murder of a vegetarian animal crusader in the midst of traditional and taken for granted political and police corruption. The dead man's wife appears to show more concern for her career as a highly placed politician than for the apprehension of the culprit or culprits. His mistress, however, whose father wields unparalleled power among the criminal elements of the city, wants the perpetrators punished as quickly and painfully as possible, and what she wants her father wills while he most cleverly maneuvers to avoid implicating his daughter, himself, or anyone else he has cause to protect. The story moves quickly yet it takes the time needed for character and locale development. The author paints an unexpectedly gritty picture of the Eternal City, bringing it down to earth for those who have not traveled there. There are two mysteries here: 1) that related in the book; 2) why the publisher allowed it to be given away. Thank you, publisher Bloomsbury USA, and thank you, B&N. Having read The Dogs of Rome, go to author Conor Fitzgerald to buy Book #2. You won't regret it. Alec Blume, in spite of himself, grows on you, and so does this darker Rome. For the record, neither Bloomsbury nor B&N solicited this review in any way. I'm just a NOOK owner who happened upon a treasure and wants to to share it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I watch most of the police/detective shows on TV so this story was pretty much up my alley. It was hard to keep up with the different incidents that were taking place in the story but in the end all things began to add up. Was also interesting, whether it's true or not, how the big city of Rome was rule and control by "mob" bosses and not the police dept., but I suppose you could say the same for any large city, ie, New York City.
gl More than 1 year ago
I am partial to detective mysteries and especially enjoy those set in exotic locations or historic periods. So, I jumped at the chance to review the first novel in Colin Fitzgerald's Commissario Alec Blume series, The Dogs of War.Set in present day Rome, The Dogs of Rome combines a familiarity with Rome, Roman culture, and Italian politics with a strong and complex detective mystery. Alec Blume is a flawed but engaging character - and a fine detective. When faced with an unusual murder scene, he systematically searches for the truth - wading through corrupted evidence, ignoring pointed directives from his superiors and pressure from both the political elite and powerful players in the criminal world.Alec Blume isn't just driven by a desire to learn the truth - he is sufficiently worldly and the reader realizes that there is more to him than that. But for his cynicism, Blume has a strong appreciation of the innocent and the good, and an appeal to his better self leads him to promise to find the truth no matter where it leads. It leads the reader to on a fascinating chase with unexpected twists and a satisfying conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed The Dogs of Rome by Conor Fitzgerald and am looking forward to reading more adventures of Commissario Alec Blume. ISBN-10: 1608190153 - Hardcover Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (March 2, 2010), 400 pages. Review copy provided by the publisher and through LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was bored most of the time. I found the plot difficult and the characters hard to follow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was hard to understand the relationships of the characters. Too much thinking behind the scenes and not enough scenes. Not recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book. It is very hard to not tell you what happens in it so i will shut up
bookaholicNC More than 1 year ago
This book is twice as long as it should be. The plot meanders and meanders and introduces umpteen different characters. The protagonist knows he is surrounded by incompetents but he doesn't do much about it. It does provide good insight into Italian bureaucracy. Maybe I have been spoiled by reading everything Donna Leon ever wrote.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intense and well written crime story happening in foreign Italy. Love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story held your interest. It was a fast read.
Divia1 More than 1 year ago
Loved this book and can not wait until I read the next on. The book has you at the edge of your seat until the very end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the complex, multi-layered, very human, imperfect Roman world the Dogs of Rome immersed me in. A world in which no one was all American simple apple pie-like, but a much more complicated dish that has been served in Italy since Rome emerged.There is no black and white in the friendship, love, loyalty, hatred, jealousy and devotion the cast of characters experience.
fromkin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In fact, a very good doggie. While a criminal dogfighting operation sets this book in motion, it is a wonderful set of characters that distinguishes this generally low-key crime procedural set in Rome. This is not the Rome of picturesque fountains and palaces. This is the Rome of the streets, populated by shopkeepers and waiters; punks, enforcers, and crime bosses; honest and less-than-honest cops; journalists; and politicians. At the heart of the book is Alec Blume, born in the United States, who moved to Italy with his parents as a child. Now an inspector with the Italian State Police, he finds himself investigating the murder of the husband of a state senator, who is an activist against dogfighting. He also finds himself dealing with the byzantine Italian justice system, Italian politics, and his own past. The characters are superbly drawn, the plot leisurely but not lazy, and the suspect a real piece of work. Highly recommended.
SignoraEdie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am an Italophile and am drawn to any books set in Italy or about Italy and the people. I love Inspector Brunetti in Venice and I love Inspector Montalbano in Sicily. So when I put my hands on "The Dogs of Rome," I was prepared to fall in love again, with Commissario Alec Blume. Set in Rome the story revolves around the investigation of the murder of an Animal Rights activist. The main character, Alec Blume, is neither fish nor fowl. He is an American so even though he speaks Italian very well and has lived in Rome since a young teenager, he is not an Italian. Yet, he has been away from the United States for longer than he lived there and does not feel the identity of an American. The story ties together the activities of a variety of individuals from in inner sanctums of the Italian police, to the wife and mistress of the deceased, to the politicians of the region to the mafiosi. l this is what the author does best, develop these characters in a manner that makes them believable and alive. The plot actually seems secondary to the characterizations and I really didn't care that much about finding the killer. I am sure that Alec Blume will be back...but I did not fall in love with him.
ShanLizLuv on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow, a tad bloody, to say the least. Not that I mind, really. Generally I enjoy a good blood and guts book...And this one is pretty good. It starts off great with the rather horrifying murder of a not terribly likeable man and barrels along quite well until the midpoint of the book. All the characters were well drawn, which is to be expected when it comes to a series with repeating characters. For the most part it was a great mystery story with folks figuring things out rather that relying on a crime lab (which is my newest pet peeve). I can only give it a lukewarm rating, though because about halfway through...possibly farther in, I had figured out most of what would happen. Bummer.....Sorta takes all the fun out of a book, you know?
crabbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm an avid dog lover and I was afraid I wouldn't like this book, but wanted to give it a try. Well, I needn't have worried. The few bits about the dog fighting are handled tastefully and quickly. The real story focuses on our protagonist, Commissario Alec Blume, an expat American, living in Italy. I found this to be a solid story with fleshed out characters and a strong plot. I can easily see it becoming a series (which apparently is what the author has in mind) and look forward to future reads.
booksinthebelfry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The storyline of this book (illegal dog fighting and a psychopathic gamer whose murderous instincts spill over from his virtual life online to the real-life streets of Rome) is seamier than I usually find appealing and the cover art is is hideous, but the plot is well-crafted and the main character, an American set adrift in Italy by tragic circumstances in his early life, has the potential to develop depth over the course of a series. I'm planning to try another installment while I wait for the next Dona Leon....
pmfloyd1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent and I must say I feel fortunate to have received it as a Library Thing Early Reviewer. And with that said, I strongly recommend the book. I read almost non-stop until I finished it and it was a pleasure to read. His writing style is solid and with substance ... which is not always found in writers of mystery novel today. Again, Fitzgerald's writing style is top notch.... in line with John La Carre and Patricia Highsmith and P.D. James. The story opens with a murder (apparently random, but maybe not) and police inspector Alec Blume has his work cut off for him. The politics (in and out of the department) are interesting and the story line carries well through the book. The fact that Blume is an ex pat from US (Seattle) makes the story even more interesting. I have no problem in recommending the book to readers who want a story (and hopefully a series) of an inspector who has depth (ala Mankell and Wallander, but with less brooding and with less melancholia. Enjoy the book. I did. 5 stars out of 5. Paul Floyd, Mpls, MN
gaby317 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am partial to detective mysteries and especially enjoy those set in exotic locations or historic periods. So, I jumped at the chance to review the first novel in Colin Fitzgerald's Commissario Alec Blume series, The Dogs of War.Set in present day Rome, The Dogs of Rome combines a familiarity with Rome, Roman culture, and Italian politics with a strong and complex detective mystery. Alec Blume is a flawed but engaging character - and a fine detective. When faced with an unusual murder scene, he systematically searches for the truth - wading through corrupted evidence, ignoring pointed directives from his superiors and pressure from both the political elite and powerful players in the criminal world.Alec Blume isn't just driven by a desire to learn the truth - he is sufficiently worldly and the reader realizes that there is more to him than that. But for his cynicism, Blume has a strong appreciation of the innocent and the good, and an appeal to his better self leads him to promise to find the truth no matter where it leads. It leads the reader to on a fascinating chase with unexpected twists and a satisfying conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed The Dogs of Rome by Conor Fitzgerald and am looking forward to reading more adventures of Commissario Alec Blume.
bragan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The publisher accidentally me sent this book, which I didn't request, along with an Early Reviewers book that I actually won. But a free book is a free book, and I figured it would be nice to read it and review it anyway. It should be noted, though, that I don't read much in the way of straight detective stories, so I'm far from an ideal reviewer on this one.The novel begins with a murder, which turns out to have implications involving politics, dog fighting, and organized crime. Whodunit isn't actually much of a mystery; the first chapter describes the murder being committed in great detail. Instead, the focus is more on the investigation, which is complicated by the fact that the police themselves have what you might call conflicts of interest, and also on slowly revealing the way in which the various bad guys and suspects fit together. I didn't find the plot terribly gripping, although it did have its moments. And for a while I was having some trouble keeping track of the plot details, although in fairness that might have less to do with the book itself and more to do with the circumstances under which I read much of it, which featured too many interruptions and too little sleep. I will say that the Italian setting added a nice, fresh note, helping to distinguish it a bit from all the generic American detective stuff I'm familiar with from TV. And while the writing, on the individual sentence level, isn't exactly brilliant, it is quite readable, and there are some very nice flashes of humor.Bottom line: Not something I'd ever have read on my own initiative and nothing I felt remotely excited about, but not bad. May be the sort of thing you'll like if you like this sort of thing.
zacchia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book was very engaging, that's the reason for a second star. Well written and easy to read.Unfortunately it feels like the author is happy to slash against a country, Italy, that he obviously doesn't like nor understand.The author forces an American type of crime in a country where it doesn't not belong, Italy, and surrounds it with the typical prejudices and stereotypes about the country: mafia, corruption, police sloppiness.The killer is a senseless serial killer, a character more adapt to an Anglo-Saxon fiction that does not fit with the Mediterranean noir.The police commissioner is American. How likely is that? This trick allows the author to slash against Italy, to wrongly complain about the absence of good dentists, to let his character scream "you Romans are the dirtiest people on Planet".One wonder why the author puts a jar of peanut butter on the crime scene, a product that you don't find on the shelves of Italian grocery stores. Occult advertisement? Or an attempt to glorify american food against Italian? And breakfast with donuts? I challenge you to find a place selling donuts in Italy. Really. Just one place.And what do you make of sentences like: "it looked to him like England or Ireland or one of those perfect places with horses and church spires. At the far end of the field, Italian squalor reasserted itself in the form of crumbling outhouses made mostly of corrugated sheets of aluminium that could be seen through a thin curtain of tall reeds and sedges." The relationship with the American woman is simply ridiculous. "Something about the whiteness of her blouse, the brightness of her skin, told him she was American." Right. And guess what? She was working for FBI. Of course. And naturally she saves his life with her ninja fighting capabilities, and leaves undisturbed the 'crime' scene smiling to herself while all Italians around were looking shocked and in disbelieves at her abilities. Please!!!Shall I start to talk about the role in the book of the mafia and corruption among authorities and police?If you already have many prejudices about that country, go for the book, you will find confirmation of your prejudices in it, and maybe enjoy them. You will not find a lot of how things are really working there. Books by Donna Leon are more engaging and realistic, more in tone with the situation in the country.On top of that characters are not well developed, the plot is lacking, and at the end you are left empty handed.
barefootlibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Dogs of Rome is a solid first outing for Conor Fitzgerald and Commissioner Alec Blume. Ex-pat Alec Blume (who is occasionally still at odds with his adopted home of Italy) gets called to a case of murder, and worse, the murder of a politician's spouse. In some stories one might say the detective is thrown into the case. After all, there are interviews to be conducted, evidence to be collected, higher ups to be pleased. However, Alec Blume doesn¿t seem to be thrown by much of anything. While Fitzgerald¿s plot is solid, he masterfully navigates his cast of (many) characters and the subtle dealings of the police hierarchy, for me Blume seemed lethargic for much of the story. His character has a ripe history to draw from, including his childhood and his history with his former and current partners. However, at times, it felt like he was just there because there need to be a lead hanging around. It did pick up about two thirds of the way through, and sped along through the satisfying ending. Fitzgerald¿s storytelling style is unique. You¿ll end where you begin, but you won¿t be quite finished. A well-plotted, satisfying mystery; I¿ll definitely be looking forward to the next Alec Blume entry.
mdtocci on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting first book in what will likely be a series based on an American expat, Alec Blume, who is now a detective in the Roman police. The book starts off with the murder of the husband of an Italian politician, and from there explores political corruption, Mafia involvement, and police corruption. An ongoing theme through the book is how Alec Blume fits into Italian society, and how his American background colors his views on life. This is a promising first book and I hope the author continues the series.
Phille on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A decent detective novel taking place in Rome, with an American ex-patriot in the leading role. The pace is pretty agreeable, there are few chapter-to-chapter cliffhangers, which makes this book a rather relaxed experience - you won't shed any sweat.
erin1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I admit I just selected this book because it took place in Rome. I should have read the description a bit more carefully because I am a dog person and, while the dog fighting subject was timely, I found myself skipping most of the parts that pertained to it. It was just too much. That being said, I did enjoy the book. The author Conor Fitzgerald takes about 100 pages to find his groove and for me to stop noticing the awkward dialogue so I can concentrate on the story which was engrossing. In the beginning, the author is trying to hard to be sharp and witty. But most of the conversations were hard to follow and left dangling or didn't advance the storyline. I found myself really confused at the start. That and the characters were hard to keep track of because of all the nicknames. I would look forward to reading the next Commisario Alec Blume novel just so I could see the development of the characters, as they are now, they are a bit clichéd and hard to sympathize with. Overall however, I did find the novel compelling and the seedy, non-touristy side of Rome fascinating.