Carrisi, Donato - 'The Lost Girls of Rome' (translated by Howard Curtis)
THE LOST GIRLS OF ROME is compelling reading. The story, complex and convoluted, as the time period switches back and forth.
The present period covers five days starting when we are party to two men sitting in a café discussing the disappearance of a young girl from her apartment in Rome. We learn that she is the fifth girl to disappear.
In Milan, Sandra - a brilliant police forensics expert - is still trying to come to terms with the death of her lover David, a photo-journalist. A phone call has Sandra questioning whether the death of her partner was the accident she had been led to believe it was.
As the story progresses we learn that the two men are members of the ancient Penitenzeri - a unique Italian team, linked to the Vatican, trained in the detection of true evil. The younger man Marcus is determined to find this latest missing girl before she is killed like the earlier abducted girls.
Meanwhile Sandra goes to Rome where her partner died to learn what actually happened to him and resulted in his death. Following in David's footsteps, Sandra soon comes into contact with Marcus, and also the man who made the phone call that prompted her to look deeper into the circumstances of David's death. But can she trust either of them?
The story alternates between the present day and flash-backs following 'the hunter' an unidentified character. Atmospheric and spellbinding this thriller is cleverly crafted to keep you turning the pages, offering you a window onto hitherto unknown secrets of Rome. Highly recommended.
Lizzie Hayes, England