am delighted to share my review today for City of Vengeance by D.V. Bishop. I have to give a massive shout out to the wonderful Eva @noveldeelights and David for my copy of this book. This is ideal for those who adore mystery novels set in the past, I adored this book and cannot wait to read the next one – The Darkest Sin.
“A first-class historical thriller . . . Bishop’s spirited and richly detailed story is a tour-de-force” —DAVID BALDACCI
City of Vengeance is an explosive debut historical thriller by D. V. Bishop, set in Renaissance Florence.
Florence. Winter, 1536. A prominent Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth.
Cesare Aldo, a former soldier and now an officer of the Renaissance city’s most-feared criminal court is given four days to solve the murder: catch the killer before the feast of Epiphany—or suffer the consequences.
During his investigations, Aldo uncovers a plot to overthrow the volatile ruler of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici. If the Duke falls, it will endanger the whole city. But a rival officer of the court is determined to expose details about Aldo’s private life that could lead to his ruin. Can Aldo stop the conspiracy before anyone else dies, or will his own secrets destroy him first?
This is the first book in the Cesare Aldo series. Set in Florence in 1536 there are several names I am aware of from history. Such as the Medici family, I do think many of us historical fiction readers or those with an interest in European history are quite aware of this name.
Cesare Aldo is essentially a policeman, he works for the Otton who are responsible for gathering the information together before it goes forward for charges and sentences to be sorted.
Florence, and to be fair the rest of Europe is not the safest place to be. An age of power struggles, murders, spying and conspiracy. The time is one where those who are in power have to watch their backs and also where the wranglings and politics of those lower down the scale come into play. Very much a chess game, yet a brutal, bloody and dangerous one.
Cesare Aldo finds himself in the midst of an investigation, and while he makes slow progress he is aware of other things going on that could make life very difficult for him. A murder has ramifications for many and this is great for a reader as it is a way of immersing them further into the story and also the atmosphere of the story.
When I started reading this book I did have a bit of a struggle with remembering who was who. This is something I found got easier the more I read, I think it was more me coming across names I didn’t recognise. I did think there were some similarities at the beginning but I soon got to grips with the names within a few chapters.
The story is one that isn’t just about a murder, it is much more mysterious than that and the author does a fabulous job of twisting various subplots. It is also a great way of bringing in things that are not acceptable at the time and also social etiquette. Religion and politics seem to work hand in hand but neither want to tread on toes. Aldo walks a fine line and at times this line becomes very indistinct!
This is a very addictive murder mystery, it is a slower-paced story but one that suits the era it is set in. It has been well researched and there is an author’s note at the end as regards the facts that were used. I really enjoyed meeting Aldo and look forward to reading more of him. He isn’t a character who is particularly likeable, but he is very thorough, has loyalties and does tend to keep himself to himself. But there is a sort of aura of wisdom and respectability about him that I really liked. As I said I am looking forward to getting to know more about him.
This is one for those who like historical crime, murder, and mystery novels. This one is fabulously atmospheric, twisted, devious and there are several surprising turns. It is one I would definitely recommend.
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