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Commissario Alec Blume, on leave for health problems and fleeing his partner, Caterina, and their newborn daughter, retreats to a villa somewhere in central Italy, where he enrolls in a natural remedies class conducted by a young woman named Silvana.
But rather than finding comfort, Blume becomes increasingly ill-and ill at ease-in his new environment and immediately makes an enemy of Niki, Silvana's ambiguous fiance. Then a Romanian girl who works in Niki's nightclub comes to Blume and asks for his help in finding her friend, Alina, who has disappeared. And Blume, isolated and sick, unadvisedly delves into the dark histories of the people around him.
"[Alec Blume] says the wrong things repeatedly, alienates both loved ones and colleagues, and acts impetuously and often unwisely. An, yet, he cares about people . . . and he is a shrewd judge of and dangerously sympathetic toward human frailty . . . He is utterly fascinating, his human shortcomings mirroring our own and forcing us to root for him. If you're drawn to Andrea Camilleri's [Salvo Montalbano], you'll be equally hooked by Alec Blume." —Bill Ott, Booklist
"Fitzgerald has created another gripping mystery featuring the irresistibly stubborn Blume . . . Readers cannot help but root for him . . . Fans of Donna Leon or Andrea Camilleri are bound to enjoy." —Shelf Awareness
"Alec Blume is an inspired creation . . . a sly, sardonic loner who gives the impression of knowing Rome better than its natives." —The Guardian
"[An] exciting series . . . If your readers loved Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen series, get them started on this one." —Library Journal, starred review
“An outstanding detective.” —Publishers Weekly