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The Dogs of Rome (Commissario Alec Blume Series #1)

The Dogs of Rome (Commissario Alec Blume Series #1)

3.5 45
by Conor Fitzgerald

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In this accomplished and riveting thriller, police inspector Alec Blume battles organized crime, political pressure, and his own demons as he investigates the death of Arturo Clemente. Blume, a clever American expatriate with a disposition against authority, soon realizes that he is being watched from on high. Forced to negotiate with powerful, suspicious people on


In this accomplished and riveting thriller, police inspector Alec Blume battles organized crime, political pressure, and his own demons as he investigates the death of Arturo Clemente. Blume, a clever American expatriate with a disposition against authority, soon realizes that he is being watched from on high. Forced to negotiate with powerful, suspicious people on all sides of the law, Blume must rely on instinct, drive, and luck to find the killer.
The Dogs of Rome is both a thrilling detective story and a vision of underground Rome. Blume is a perfect hero for this story: intelligent but flawed, cynical but unafraid. He is a trustworthy and compelling protagonist for this first installment in a gritty and promising series.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fitzgerald’s impressively plotted debut, the first in a projected contemporary crime series, introduces police chief commissioner Alec Blume, an American expatriate who’s been living in Rome for the last 22 years. Since losing both his parents—art historians who were shot and killed during a bank robbery on Via Cristoforo Colombo—as a teenager, Blume has been a loner of sorts, the proverbial outsider. When someone brutally murders Arturo Clemente, a prominent politician’s husband and an animal rights activist who recently exposed a dog-fighting ring, in Clemente’s apartment, the flawed but endearing Blume uses his unique perspective to negotiate his way through a labyrinthine minefield that includes crooked cops, unscrupulous politicians, and an ancient city whose very history is steeped in the corruption associated with organized crime. Those who like gritty crime thrillers with a European flair will be well rewarded. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
Expat detective tracks a murderer through the fetid streets of Rome. Fitzgerald's debut brings little new to its lackluster portrayal of an incongruous lawman. The book opens with the graphic murder of Arturo Clemente, an animal-rights activist who is killed in his apartment just after the departure of his lover, the daughter of a local crime boss. To further complicate matters, Arturo's widow is a member of parliament related to several other powerful politicians. It's a potboiling stew for the investigating detective, whose credibility as a character is attenuated by his byzantine back story. Chief Commissioner Alec Blume is from Seattle, which would be unusual for any Italian police officer, let along one of his rank. Flashbacks reveal that Blume moved to Rome with his parents at 15; they were shot during a bank robbery when he was 17, prompting the unexpected fall through the bureaucratic cracks that allowed him to become a cop. Although the short-tempered detective has spent more of his life in Italy than America, he never fits into the vibe of Rome: "His accent, acquired in the schoolyard, was perfect Roman, but a hint of something else lay behind it, a watchfulness, a lack of spontaneity or a slight reticence in his movements. Whatever it was, he put people on their guard." All the ingredients are there, but the story plods along through an investigation tedious enough to try the patience of even the most earnest procedural enthusiasts. The few high points include some tense encounters with the local crime ring and a burgeoning romance with a prototypically sexy FBI liaison to the American embassy. But if this continues as a series, Blume will need more than his unlikely vocationand his grim disposition to win readers' affections. A dour procedural that squanders its fertile setting.
From the Publisher

“A sizzling-hot debut that deftly weaves together corrupt politicians, organized crime, and centuries-old tradition.” —Entertainment Weekly

“All of the players in the novel come across as completely believable, because the author avoids the stereotypical, and emphasizes the quirkiness in both large and small characters. The fast-moving plot has several interesting twists, and the tone is tongue-in-cheek. This is the first in a series of Commissario Blume novels, and anyone who reads this one will be looking forward to the next.” —San Francisco Book Review

“Guaranteed to whet the thirst of international crime fiction fans. This promising debut is reminiscent of early Michael Dibdin, and that is more than enough to put Fitzgerald's series on your radar.” —Booklist

“Impressively plotted…those who like gritty crime thrillers with a European flair will be well rewarded.” —Publishers Weekly

“Commissario Blume is the most appealing detective to come along in years. His genius is that he isn't a hero or an anti-hero, but the kind of living, breathing human being that you only find in the very best novels, detective or otherwise. The Dogs of Rome is an irresistible and wholly original piece of crime fiction.” —Joe Weisberg, author of An Ordinary Spy and Tenth Grade

Product Details

Bloomsbury UK
Publication date:
Commissario Alec Blume Series , #1

Meet 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.

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The Dogs of Rome (Commissario Alec Blue Series #1) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Different to your average murder .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nope not for me
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Am anxious read more of the Alec Blume series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it
barbO112 More than 1 year ago
I usually enjoy just about any mystery, but I could not get into this one and quit after about p. 50. The writing did not draw me into the story.
Sirach More than 1 year ago
eventually gives enough of backstory to get a feel for protagonist. Important, since this is 1st of series. Found how Italian police force works very interesting. Am looking forward to rest of series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wouldnt want to visit there again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't like the language from the get go. I don't read books with bad language. If a writer can't express themselves without swearing they aren't worth reading. I can handle a light swear word once in a while. But not what I was reading in the beginning of this book. They didn't use that language in the TV production. I liked the show. Debi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago