In this fascinatingly complex thriller, two people, each shattered by their past, team to solve a series of killings and abductions… When a woman is beheaded in a park outside Rome and her six-year-old son goes missing, the police unit assigned to the case sees an easy solution: they arrest the woman’s husband and await his confession. But the Chief of Rome’s Major Crimes unit doubts things are so simple. Secretly, he lures to the case two of Italy’s top analytical minds: Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli, a fierce, warrior-like detective still reeling from having survived a bloody catastrophe, and Dante Torre, a man who spent his childhood trapped inside a concrete silo. Fed through the gloved hand of a masked kidnapper who called himself “The Father,” Dante emerged from his ordeal with crippling claustrophobia but, also, with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and hyper-observant capacities. All evidence suggests that the Father is back and active after being dormant for decades. Indeed, he has left tell-tale signs that signal he’s looking forward to a reunion with Dante. But when Columba and Dante begin following the ever-more-bizarre trail of clues, they grasp that what’s really going on is darker than they ever imagined.
Kill The Father was a surprising and riveting book, one that I think I will remember for a long time. It was unlike anything I’ve read lately, mostly because it was set in Rome (as much as I adore stories set in the UK and US, I appreciated the change), and because, even though it started out as a pretty conventional police procedural, it became so much more. I definitely wasn’t expecting that… and I loved it!
This came highly recommended so I was incredibly happy when I got the book in my mail, even though I hadn’t requested it. This is not your typical thriller or mystery. In fact, I don’t usually feel attracted to this kind of “big stories”, as I’m really into small-town mysteries and family secrets, but this time I couldn’t resist. As you immerse yourself into the story, you’ll discover that Kill the Father features a complex plot that has nothing to do with serial killers, crazy husbands and wives, or your typical kidnapping gone wrong. There are no coincidences here. High-concept, as they say, although the characters are so well-developed you can appreciate both the storyline and the characterization.
At first, Colomba and Dante begin to investigate the death of a woman and the disappearance of her kid, but the case turns into something much more sinister when Dante finds a connection that goes back to his own kidnapping many years ago… Colomba and Dante are such amazing characters that I’m pretty sure I won’t ever forget about them. Their platonic relationship felt natural and I felt the connection instantly. Dante was perhaps my favorite and I felt sorry for him: he had been abducted as a kid and had been suffering from extreme claustrophobia for many years. I loved how Colomba grew to care for him and did everything she could to protect him.
I must admit -and I think I’m not the only one- the book was maybe a hundred pages too long for me. Some parts dragged a little (and the font was so tiny!) and I struggled during some of the middle chapters. However, the final section of the book was so wonderful and unexpected that it certainly made up for everything else. I was shocked and couldn’t believe how I hadn’t seen the signs. There were many big twists and the “conspiracy” angle made it a unique adventure that I can’t wait to continue. Because… what a cliffhanger!
Netgalley – Simon & Schuster, 2017