Playing With Fire
by Tess Gerritsen
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.
There are two timelines to this book. The present day one which involves Julia, a violinist, who stumbles across music for an unpublished waltz in an antique shop in Rome. When she plays the music it seems to have a profound effect on her three year old daughter; making her want to kill her mother. The second timeline is set just before and during World War II. This story follows Lorenzo, a Venetian Jew, and delves into the horror that was the Holocaust.
For me, I’m afraid, this book just doesn’t work. The two storylines have no need of each other and are held together by the flimsiest of threads. Tess Gerritsen should have have told one or the other; preferably Lorenzo’s story which had enormous potential. As it is the character development is wafer thin, leaving you turning the pages knowing exactly where it is going, and what should have been an emotional and heartbreaking story turns into something that is merely sentimental.
I am a huge fan of Tess Gerritsen. Her Rizzoli and Isles books are some of my favourite crime books, but I think here she got caught between wanting to tell a different story and trying to please her crime fans with a tagged on thriller story, the ending of which is sadly not worth the wait.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy via Netgalley.