cover image Daughter of Ashes

Daughter of Ashes

Ilaria Tuti, trans. from the Italian by Ekin Oklap. Soho Crime, $27.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-64129-417-1

Tuti’s splendidly constructed fourth adventure for Italian Police Supt. Teresa Battaglia (after 2022’s The Sleeping Nymph) explores the criminal profiler’s past, its impact on her career, and its connection to a current case. Now in her 60s, Teresa is entering the early stages of Alzheimer’s, a fact she has yet to admit to her colleagues. She’s on sick leave, recovering after she and her partner nearly died while pursuing a killer and determining how to handle the onset of her condition, when D.A. Albert Lona—an old foe—orders her to interview Giacomo Mainardi, a serial killer she brought to justice 27 years earlier. After his recent escape from maximum security prison in northeastern Italy, Mainardi has turned himself in and asked to speak privately with Teresa. He tells her that, during his brief bout of freedom, he fulfilled a request to kill a man, but he will not reveal who hired him, who the victim was, or where the body is buried. Teresa’s efforts to fill in the missing pieces of Mainardi’s confession are interspersed with flashbacks to the pair’s initial cat-and-mouse game decades earlier, allowing Tuti to add depth and drama to Teresa’s characterization without sacrificing thrills. The result is a standout entry in a superior series. (Dec.)