The Lost Girls of Rome

Donato Carrisi, Author
Donato Carrisi, trans. from the Italian by Howard Curtis. Little, Brown/Mulholland, $26 (432p) ISBN 978-0-316-24679-8
Reviewed on: 09/23/2013
Release date: 11/19/2013
Carrisi (The Whisperer) takes an unsparing look at the nature of evil and guilt in this fascinating, if meandering, thriller. Sandra Vega, a forensic photographer with the Milan police, refuses to believe the official ruling that her photojournalist husband David Leoni’s death five months earlier was accidental. And what was David doing at a high-rise construction site in Rome during the middle of the night before he took his fatal plunge? Sandra’s investigation leads her to the penitenzieri, a secret Catholic sect whose members categorize every major crime and often mete out their own punishments. Sandra joins forces with the enigmatic Marcus, who’s trying to find a young woman he believes to be the fifth victim abducted by a serial killer. The shifts between past and present make the complex plot, which moves at a halting pace, hard to follow. The story is strongest when Sandra and Marcus pursue separate trails leading toward the surprising climax. Agent: Markus Hoffmann, Regal Literary Agency. (Nov.)