Friday 14 August 2015

Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen

Playing with FirePlaying with Fire by Tess Gerritsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 288

Publisher - Ballantine Books

Blurb from Goodreads

A beautiful violinist is haunted by a very old piece of music she finds in a strange antique shop in Rome.

The first time Julia Ansdell picks up The Incendio Waltz, she knows it’s a strikingly unusual composition. But while playing the piece, Julia blacks out and awakens to find her young daughter implicated in acts of surprising violence. And when she travels to Venice to find the previous owner of the music, she uncovers a dark secret that involves dangerously powerful people—a family who would stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.

My Review

I read the ebook of this so I am not sure how the printed version will work but I feel I must mention a few things. The chapters are split between Julia and Lorenzo, present day Julia & Lorenzo is in Venice just before and then during, World War 2. The page for the start of the chapters have music note paper along with either Julia or Lorenzos name, earmarking whose chapter it is. The beginning of the book, before the story starts, has a beautiful old black and white photograph, I may be able to post it with this onto the actual blog post.

Julia find herself a piece of music whilst in Rome, when she plays it, on her violin, her daughter becomes violent. Julia is becoming increasing anxious and finds herself being under scrutiny by her family and health care professionals. She needs to get to the bottom of this piece, where did it come from and why is it stirring up so much trouble.

Lorenzo is a magnificent violinist, he creates music, is successful and falling in love. However Lorenzo finds himself in the times of the reign of Hitler and from his family being respected and part of the community, to shunned and at the hands of the Germans. The stories flip between Julia & Lorenzo, then and now & a dangerous path Julia can't get off of to get to the end of her goal.

I don't know what I expected of this book, I love Tess Gerritsen, especially Rizzoli/Isles so I requested this without reading the blurb. Then when I realised it was about music I was like oh no, I won't like this. However, the music, whilst is a big part of the story, it isn't the whole part. Family dynamics, murder, secrets, World War 2, mass murder, love, friendship and illness to cover just some of the issues covered in this story.

I could have read this in one sitting, I think Gerritsen has captured such a horrific subject, from Lorenzo's time frame and done it well. There are some big twists you don't see coming and the storytelling draws you in. There is an encounter with animal cruelty, some of the scenes from Lorenzo's time are harrowing so just a heads up for people who find such things upsetting. That said it is a very good story, I just wish it had been longer. 4/5 for me this time, thanks so much to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

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  1. Sounds interesting, like you I do enjoy the R & I series. But I do also enjoy WW2 setting and anything set in Rome - I think this puts this one right up my street!

  2. Terrific review, Lainy! I'm glad you enjoyed this. Have a super weekend.

  3. The premise involving the strange musics sounds of this one sounds intriguing.

    However, Even a little bit of animal cruelty would likely prevent me from reading a book.

  4. Great review Lainy, I love TG's books and have this on my wishlist. Venice and WW2 have sold it to me.


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