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This Martin Cruz Smith novel takes place largely in Venice toward the close of WWII. Italy has (partially) left its alliance with Nazi Germany with the result that the Germans occupy northern Italy. In addition there are still Italian fascists loyal to Mussolini. The result is that the country is at war with itself and Germany - families are at war with other relatives. The rescue of a young Jewish girl by a fisherman has an almost mythological flavor, as though the young woman is like a mermaid or sea maiden. Most of Smith's books do not have a strong romantic theme so I was surprised to observe the growing devotion between Cenzo and Guilia. Also, despite the desperate times, the author adds bits of very dry / wry humor. I still remember how impressed I was by "Gorky Park" 40 years ago. It was a pleasure to read another novel by this author. Recommend. Kristi & Abby Tabby
I read a lot of crime/mystery novels, especially by international authors, some in English and many translated from the original published language. By comparison, this book is written in a simplistic, B-grade movie style. The North American jargon doesn't fit the locale or the times. Just not believable. The idea for the story was a good one but the author's approach to his subject was lazy and underwritten.
By the author of Gorky Park, this is a great historical thriller set in WW2-era occupied Venice. The writer's prose is sparse but very powerful, and the characters are strongly etched in miniature. Spies and collaborators, Gestapo and partisans, and an Italian Lagoon fisherman and a young Jewish girl trying to find their way in the shadows.
WW II is almost at an end, leaving northern Italy an uneasy mix of loyalties. Enter fisherman Cenzo, a young man hoping to endure unscathed. When he rescues a young woman in Venice’s Lagoon everything changes. Very atmospheric thriller with wonderful characters and insights into a time and place I love reading about.
Was waiting for the paperback book to become available at the library and noticed the DVD on the shelf. Enjoyable, creative fantasy!
Not his usual style but interesting as a study of Italy/Venice in WWII. His passive hero's are somewhat difficult to take and this passive resistance is what got Italy in so much trouble in WWII.
I read this book because I was intrigued by the cover, but was less than enthralled by the story. I’ve not read any other books by Martin Cruz Smith so I have nothing else to which to compare it. I need more depth to a story.
Been hooked on Smith since GORKY PARK. This story is not his usual criminal/thriller and Renko. But I really liked it. The story was different from his usual, but engaging and kept moving along. I am a WW II history buff anyway, so I liked the story line on that count as well. As always, LARGE PRINT is worth the wait.
Set in the waning days of WWII in the chaos of Venice at war’s end where factions of Nazis, Fascists and various partisan groups are fighting for control of post war Italy. Smith blend all of this with a charming love story between a simple fisherman and a woman from a wealthy Jewish family. It lack the tension of his russian novels which makes it a wonderful read.
Another good read from Smith. I've never been disappointed with his books.
I enjoyed the books beginning but quickly changed to a different story completely, making it unbelievable.
Didn't like it as much as previous works: time shifting - disorienting not to mention dialouge of girl didn't ring true for me either- she sounded more like a 25 year old than a 18 year old. Happy ending unrealistic I thought plus what birth control method was this girl using? I'm surprised she didn't get pregnant considering all the love making going on.
Almost a travelogue, does paint a lovely picture of Venice and the surrounding area...But, also a scary story of WWII Italy, the Fascist and the Gestapo.
Reminded me abit of Alan Furst's writings, a thriller. a good read, haven't read much of Smith's writings since his series of Renko novels.
Entertaining, but not sure long it will be on best seller list...
Not a detective Renko mystery but a multifaceted story about being Venetians during the German Occupation towards the end of WWII as partisans, fascists, pacifists, spies, smugglers ... and a lonesome fisherman. No less than Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti novels and films, Smith painted the landscape and people around the Venice Lagoons in vivid colors while telling a romantic wartime story about a fisherman and a young Jewish girl on a treacherous journey to escape from a Nazi villain.