Chock full of action and intrigue… Addictively readable.
Blood, mayhem, and chaos are served up in ample portions in Izzi’s latest, which sees the Chicago-based reporter Paul Crawford on the trail of a series of deeply tangled killings. The seemingly harmless Don Carlo Marchese, one of the top mafia bosses in Chicago, is found hanging outside the window of a ritzy downtown hotel, but both the police and underworld knows it’s not an ordered hit. The reclusive 81-year-old Hermann Kalkschmidt, the son of a former Nazi officer, is found dead in his Munich apartment, with forty-two precious paintings stolen by the Nazis from Florence’s Uffizi Gallery in 1943 hidden in his attic. As Paul begins to look into Marchese’s murder, he finds a direct link between the two cases. The things get complicated further by Paul’s discovery about the mafia boss’s contract work for the Vatican. With Florence’s Giammarco crime family in search of the Uffizi art collection and in direct conflict with the Pope Emeritus, “Papa Onorio” of the Vatican, who thinks the collection belongs to the Vatican, blood and dead bodies begin to pile up. This is familiar territory for Izzi, and he knows exactly how to traverse the material. From the tense opening scene of Marchese’s forced hanging to a horde of smaller players in race for the ownership of stolen paintings, he keeps the story flowing at a steady pace, skillfully building the suspense as Paul delves deeper into the mystery. He brings a clean, well-articulated mafia-ish lilt to his story that works especially well with the book’s multiple characters involved in one or another criminal activity, each of whom he renders with precise clarity and personal detail. The swiftly paced first-person narrative keeps the reader thoroughly invested straight through to the final confrontation when all is revealed. Evil, a constant presence in the story, looms large and ugly, in the form of various characters’ lust for wealth, power, and blood whereas the precarious German and Italian context adds color. The dark, gritty tone complements the atmospheric setting and expertly executed plot and intelligent prose and high stakes keep the pages flying. Izzi has a flair for detail, and he is expert when it comes to bring his large cast of characters with individual storylines together. The deft mix of action and intrigue will increase readers’ fervor for Paul’s future adventures. This is a definite page-turner.
Note: This title is free on Kindle Unlimited.
Demons of Divine Wrath
By Edward Izzi
Pub date July 27, 2019
Price $15.95 (USD) Paperback, $7.92 Kindle edition
Categories: Action and Thrillers