Reviews of Playing With Fire (2015)
Review by michael a draper (2015-10-05)
In a change in literary direction Tess Gerritsen has written an enchanting historical novel.
The story is wrapped with the kind of characters who are interesting, and have a tale to tell, one that the reader will enjoy.
Julia Ansdell is a beautiful woman, she is an accomplished musician and purchases a piece of music at an antique store in Rome.
While playing the music at her home, there is an incident between her 3 year old daughter and the family cat. This puts a scare in Julia and sets the tone for the remainder of the story.
Thereafter, the story is told in two parts, in current time and around WWII in Italy.
In Italy there is a family of musicians with a love of music, and of Italy. There is a competition upcoming and they are preparing for it, but are concerned if they will be allowed to perform due to questions about their heritage.
Julia feels drawn to the music of the composer. She begins investigating the origin of the music and the family.
We follow the Brownshirts and the family encounters with them and a particular Colonel who has a private agenda.
Gerritsen writes with an intimate flourish as if revealing parts of her own family.
(This review refers to the expression titled “Playing With Fire”.)