Thursday, 22 October 2015

Book Review | Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

"A beautiful violinist is haunted by a very old piece of music she finds in a strange antique shop in Rome.

The first time Julia Ansdell picks up The Incendio Waltz, she knows it’s a strikingly unusual composition. But while playing the piece, Julia blacks out and awakens to find her young daughter implicated in acts of surprising violence. And when she travels to Venice to find the previous owner of the music, she uncovers a dark secret that involves dangerously powerful people—a family who would stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light."

This is the first Tess Gerritsen I've ever read, and I'm saying now that it won't be my last. This book is absolutely hauntingly beautiful and even had me crying at some parts. It's not often I read a thriller/mystery that isn't based around serial killers and dead bodies, so it was something totally unique and different for me and I absolutely loved it.

Playing with Fire is a story told from two points of view, one in the present and one in the past. One half follows Julia, a modern day musician. The other half follows Lorenzo, a Jewish musician from the past. And let me tell you right now, Lorenzo's story is absolutely stunning. His part is told with grace and dignity, and you can tell the amount of research that Gerritsen put in to make it historically accurate. It's a sad but hauntingly beautiful tale that's been written with poise, elegance and grace.

The writing is stunning, I finished this book in a day. It's so engaging and I just couldn't wait to reach the end. I felt that Julia's story was weaker than Lorenzo's, but still strong, although I predicted her ending and outcome from the beginning of the book. Despite this, it didn't ruin the story for me at all. Gerritsen's writing really makes you feel for and grow deeply in love with her characters. Despite knowing the outcome of Lorenzo's side, my heart ached and I shed some tears over it because I truly loved him so.

The ending felt very rushed, and that's why I dropped the stars to 4 instead of five. It was like a slow building tension throughout the entire book and then BAM it's over and you're left feeling like... "well that was overly fast and convenient..." Not much else can be said about this ending, but that's my reasoning for dropping that star.

Overall the plot was incredibly unique and captivating, and it's a strong novel despite its few flaws. 4 out of 5 stars from me.

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