Abandoned

Abandoned Book Cover Abandoned
Smoky Barrett, Book #4
Cody McFadyen
Crime, Female Detectives, Mystery, Thriller
Hodder & Stoughton
2009
ebook
448

For FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett, the wedding of one of their own was cause for celebration. Until a woman staggered down the aisle, incoherent, emaciated, head shaved, and wearing only a white nightgown.

No one knows who she is or where she's come from or why she's chosen to appear in a church filled with law enforcement agents. Then a fingerprint check determines that the woman has been missing for nearly eight years that once she was someone's wife, someone's mother and a cop. Imprisoning her in a dark cell, depriving her of any contact with the outside world, her enigmatic captor was a man she didn't know and who seldom spoke, who punished her only when she failed to follow his most basic instructions designed to keep her alive.

Cold, businesslike, seemingly indifferent to his victims, he's a predator with an M.O. as terrifyingly inscrutable as any Smoky has ever encountered. As she fits together the pieces of what remains of his victim's fractured life, a chilling picture emerges of a killer every bit as calculating, masterful, and professional as Smoky and the team she leads a professional psychopath who doesn't take murder personally and never makes a mistake.

There's a reason he let one of his victims go free. And by the time Smoky pierces the darkness of his twisted mind, it may cost her more than she can bear to lose to escape. For a trap snapped closed the moment she took this case too much to heart.

About the book

The start is in slow motion, then the pace picks up. I read the first two chapters in two days (ok maybe the first 4), then I could not put it down.

I read this book in English because kobo does not have the translated version in Italian (not bad, I can read a whole book in English without having problems) and I must say that I like the style of the author. Of course, even in Italian it is his style but being translated, I do not know how much structure the translator changes, so reading a book in English has been different for once.

Continue Reading

Heart

Cuore Book Cover Cuore
Edmondo de Amicis
Children, Classics, Novels
Fredonia Books (NL)
1886
Paperback
274

Written following the Italian war for independence by a sub-lieutenant who had fought in the siege of Rome in 1870, Heart is the fictional diary of a boy's third year in a Turin municipal school. It was written to foster juvenile appreciation of the newfound Italian national unity, which the author had fought for in the recent war. The book is often highly emotional, even sentimental, but gives a vivid picture of urban Italian life at that time. A master, introducing a new pupil, tells the class, "Remember well what I am going to say. That this fact might come to pass--that a Calabrian boy might find himself at home in Turin, and that a boy of Turin might be in his own home in Calabria, our country has struggled for fifty years, and thirty thousand Italians have died." The novel became internationally popular, and has been translated into over twenty-five languages, and is part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works. Edmondo de Amicis (1846-1908) established a reputation as a writer in various genres after his experience as a soldier.

About the book

This is a book that when I was a child everyone told me “read it”, “it’s a beautiful book for kids” and now that I read it, I wonder how is it that a book so “out of the Italian language” being for children? I need to say that I read this book just because, for the Challenge of Popsugar, I had to read “a book from my childhood that I wanted to read and I never read”, otherwise, as I said on Goodreads where I added all the books that I own, I would have never read it.

First of all, the book was written in the nineteenth century so obviously the Italian is not the Italian of today, so I wonder how a child/boy who has just started his journey in the Italian language can fully understand what is written. Not all the book is like that but if it is not fluent for me because of ancient Italian, how can it be for a boy? How can a child like this book? Now I know why I never read it when I was young, as soon as I started it I gave up.

Continue Reading

The Templar Legacy

The Templar Legacy Book Cover The Templar Legacy
Cotton Malone, Book #1
Steve Berry
Crime, Historic Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Random House Publishing Group
February 21, 2006
ebook
514

Cotton Malone, one-time top operative for the U.S. Justice Department, is enjoying his quiet new life as an antiquarian book dealer in Copenhagen when an unexpected call to action reawakens his hair-trigger instincts–and plunges him back into the cloak-and-dagger world he thought he’d left behind.

It begins with a violent robbery attempt on Cotton’s former supervisor, Stephanie Nelle, who’ s far from home on a mission that has nothing to do with national security. Armed with vital clues to a series of centuries-old puzzles scattered across Europe, she means to crack a mystery that has tantalized scholars and fortune-hunters through the ages by finding the legendary cache of wealth and forbidden knowledge thought to have been lost forever when the order of the Knights Templar was exterminated in the fourteenth century. But she’s not alone. Competing for the historic prize– and desperate for the crucial information Stephanie possesses–is Raymond de Roquefort, a shadowy zealot with an army of assassins at his command.

Welcome or not, Cotton seeks to even the odds in the perilous race. But the more he learns about the ancient conspiracy surrounding the Knights Templar, the more he realizes that even more than lives are at stake. At the end of a lethal game of conquest, rife with intrigue, treachery, and craven lust for power, lies a shattering discovery that could rock the civilized world–and, in the wrong hands, bring it to its knees.

About the book

The Templar Legacy is the first book in the series starring Cotton Malone, a former CIA agent, who retired in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he opened a bookshop of ancient books, his long-standing passion. The book begins when his former boss comes to visit him in Copenhagen and even before she can meet Malone finds herself in a chase through the streets of the city when her purse is snatched. Between blackmail, murder, suicide, betrayal and escapes around Europe, will the former CIA agent solve the mystery?

I like this kind of conspiracies, I like hidden secrets, I like treasure hunts, I like the dark side of people, even the most devoted have one, so the plot intrigued me a lot. Style and details not so much. First of all: if the masters were 66 and have “governed” for 18 years (average) from the XII century onward, something isn’t right in the book, because (66×18 = 1188 years governed in total by the masters) +1150 (year of foundation of the templars) = 2338… and the book was written in 2006…  we are not in 2300 now… Can someone please explain this detail to me? Yes, I’m that kind of person who counts and looks after these details.

Continue Reading