cover image The Namesake: 
A Commisario Alec Blume Novel

The Namesake: A Commisario Alec Blume Novel

Conor Fitzgerald. Bloomsbury, $25 (368p) ISBN 978-1-60819-845-0

Police commissioner Alec Blume looks into the murder of a Milan insurance agent in Fitzgerald’s fine third novel featuring the American expat living in Rome (after 2011’s The Fatal Touch). Found outside the court buildings in Piazza Clodio, the victim had the same name as no-nonsense magistrate Matteo Arconti. Could this be an act of defiance from the Calabrian Mafia? The kidnapping of a 14-year-old girl, whose journalist father was quite critical of the mob, may also be linked to the crime syndicate. Blume winds up going undercover after a false confession by a mobster’s wife he plants to draw out Arconti’s killer leads to near catastrophic repercussions. Meanwhile, by submerging himself in both investigations, Blume can avoid dealing with his growing relationship with Chief Insp. Caterina Mattiola. Fitzgerald provides an insightful glimpse into the machinations of Italian police work and the criminal world, where strong family bonds astound even the most perceptive cop. Agent: Sarah Ballard, United Agents. (June)