Book Review: Flowers Over the Inferno

Flowers Over the Inferno (Teresa Battaglia #1) by Ilaria Tuti, Ekin Oklap (translator)

In a quiet village surrounded by ancient woods and the imposing Italian Alps, a man is found naked with his eyes gouged out. It is the first in a string of gruesome murders.

Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, a detective with a background in criminal profiling, is called to investigate. Battaglia is in her mid-sixties, her rank and expertise hard-won from decades of battling for respect in the male-dominated Italian police force. While she’s not sure she trusts the young city inspector assigned to assist her, she sees right away that this is no ordinary case: buried deep in these mountains are whispers of a dark and dangerous history, possibly tied to a group of eight-year-old children toward whom the killer seems to gravitate.

As Teresa inches closer to the truth, she must also confront the possibility that her body and mind, worn down by age and illness, may fail her before the chase is over.

Review:
I absolutely loved this book and already can’t wait for the next one in the series.
Teresa is a no nonsense police detective in Italy who has seen it all and has overcome the sexism of the police department. She is a brilliant profiler, but in this book, she comes across a murderer who can’t be profiled. She also experiences health problems and is starting to have issues with her memory, so she is against the clock to catch this unconventional killer.
Teresa is a fantastic character. I loved having someone older and relatable as the intelligent, sometimes short tempered, passionate police detective. She is determined and fallible, which makes her an interesting protagonist.
The mystery is unique and fascinating. There is an historical aspect to the book involving terrible Nazi experiments and that definitely added interest to the book.
Then there is the writing — even in translation this book is beautifully written, evoking the setting of the Italian Alps in the winter. I enjoyed just reading the great sentences and turns of phrases.
I also run a book box subscription that feature strong woman reads and this book was a no-brainer to add to one of our boxes. So far, our subscribers are also enjoying this book as well.
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for a review copy of this book.
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Author Interview: AR Simmons

Today I welcome author AR Simmons to my blog.

DaughterCoverAW2What genre(s) do you write in? Who is your audience?

I write mystery/suspense. I couldn’t term them “police procedurals,” “cozies,” or “hard-boiled.” They are an amalgam of all these embedded in the narrative of a young couple’s evolving relationship.

My audience. Let me see. They are probably twenty-five or older (I hope not exclusively), they love to solve puzzles, identify with complex characters, and vicariously escape terrifying threats. They might even “take up residence” in Hawthorn County and make personal connections.

Tell us about your books. Is there one in particular you are promoting right now? What is it about?

My books comprise a series of stand-alone stories featuring Richard and Jill Carter, who have come to a small Ozark town to escape celebrity/notoriety stemming from their encounter with a serial killer in Michigan. Richard (now a rural deputy) is a former marine, haunted by guilt and suffering PTSD. Jill, dealing with PTSD of her own, is the “rock” of the family (their precocious daughter Mirabelle is the third member).

The latest book is “The Daughter.” Shara McGregor has it all: brains, beauty, and a well-connected family friend (former Senator Willis Sparkes), who intends to see to it that she gets into a prestigious law school. When Shara, the town’s “golden girl,” disappears on her way to visit a university, only her blood-stained car and discarded phone are discovered. Suspects abound, including an ex-boyfriend, several would-be boyfriends, a boss who can’t keep his hands to himself, and the family friend who continually inserts himself into the investigation. Imagining his own daughter at Shara’s age, Richard becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl.

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