cover image City of Vengeance

City of Vengeance

D.V. Bishop. Macmillan U.K. (IPG, dist.), $24.95 (416p) ISBN 978-1-5290-3877-4

Set in Renaissance Italy, British author Bishop’s strong debut, a series launch, opens with Cesare Aldo, a criminal court officer and a former soldier, escorting moneylender Samuele Levi, who possesses a dangerous secret, from Bologna to Florence. En route, Aldo bravely fights off a bandit attack. Soon after their arrival in Florence, a murder catches Aldo’s attention, that of a young man who sometimes dressed as a female courtesan to attract rich lovers. The case resonates with Aldo, as he must carefully guard the secret of his own sexuality. The subsequent murder of Levi raises the stakes. Aldo’s investigation takes him from the streets of Florence to the mansion of the city’s real-life leader, Alessandro de’ Medici, where he’s exposed to the rivalries among the court factions. The many setbacks Aldo must suffer as he races to discover who’s behind these and other murders keep the tension at a boiling point. Bishop has an impressive command of Florence’s history, its beauty, ambition, and taste for violence. Readers will eagerly await the sequel. Agent: Jenny Brown, Jenny Brown Assoc. (U.K.). (Oct.)