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The Fatal Touch: A Commissario Alec Blume…

The Fatal Touch: A Commissario Alec Blume Novel (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Conor Fitzgerald

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12227152,985 (3.71)16
Investigating a death connected to a series of muggings, Alec Blume and his associate, Caterina, risk their jobs and the ire of the Carabinieri military police while uncovering the victim's identity as an art forger with enemies.
Title:The Fatal Touch: A Commissario Alec Blume Novel
Authors:Conor Fitzgerald
Info:Bloomsbury USA (2011), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Mystery, Thriller

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The Fatal Touch by Conor Fitzgerald (2011)


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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
This book is immensely entertaining, with interesting characters, a compelling plot with lots of twists, and unexpected humor. That its setting is Trastevere is icing on the cake!

Favorite lines:
"'We're investigative police. Violation of privacy is basically what we do.'"

"...and Blume, who had never properly considered the matter, seemed to have received prejudice like a fully wrapped gift which he was only now getting around to opening."

"The handkerchief smelled of lavender and sunshine, the smells of France, Italy, and my future. I filled it with gray snot and salt, the color and taste of Ireland and my past."

"'These misconceptions we have. I thought all Americans were fat and politically correct, yet here you are.'"

"'Getting angry is like trying to treat a burn by burning yourself again in the very same spot.'" ( )
  librarianarpita | Aug 8, 2013 |
Another mystery with Alec Blume, but this one felt more complex and suspenseful. I also liked the introduction of a new character. There are some unpleasant surprises with the conclusion of this story. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Sep 8, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When I finished reading the first novel in this series of mysteries set in Rome, I groaned; I knew that the second book in the series sitting right there, thanks to the the ER win, and that I had an obligation to read & review it, despite the fact that had I been left to my own devices, I would quite happily have bidden farewell to Alec Blume, Fitzgerald's protagonist, after his first outing. Which is how it became a "Late Reviewer" book instead... Instead, when I finally forced myself to pick it up and read it, I was pleasantly surprised. When the book opens, we're seeing the scene of a possible crime -- an elderly Irishman is dead in an Italian piazza -- through the eyes of Caterina Mattiola, and seeing Commissario Alec Blume, her boss, through her eyes, too. That worked for me, and their nascent working relationship kind of made the book and its setting "click" in a way that the first hadn't. Fitzgerald has crafted a smart and intriguing mystery here, one that begins with uncertainty -- is Harry Treacy's death an accident or murder -- and evolves into a complex plot involving art fraud, corruption and bureaucratic nonsense. Fitzgerald's second novel still isn't flawless -- too many of the complexities of Italian law enforcement either feel superfluous or aren't explained carefully, and the plot sometimes is simply too complex to follow readily -- but it's lively and intriguing, and this time around Blume is a more nuanced and engaging character. I ended the first novel willingly and reluctant to read its sequel; this time around, I finished the sequel sadly and find myself excited about reading "The Namesake", of which I've managed to acquire a copy from NetGalley. This is a series I'd recommend; you may need to be patient at a few points in the narrative, but you're always rewarded. The characters are all vividly written without ever becoming caricatures. It might even be possible to start with this second book; there's enough of Blume's background given here that you can grasp all the essentials. 3.9 stars. ( )
  Chatterbox | Apr 28, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book happens to be the second in the Alec Blume series, but I never read the first one. That is a mistake that I'm rectifying. I enjoyed this book so much that I want to read the first one now. I also apologize to the publisher for my tardiness in reviewing this book, but I got held up with so many other books that I kind of forgot this one. I am sorry that I did because this book is wonderful. In Blume we have a wonderful Comassario. Blume is American- born, but he now lives in Italy and holds a post fairly high up in the police force of Italy. The combination of Blume's likeableness and Italy's wonderful history and architecture is a compelling one. And Fitzgerald weaves a taut thriller around his protagonist, who happens to be one of the most appealing police detectives that I've come across in a long while. The supplementary characters in this book are just as believeable as Blume himself. I am so glad that I've found this series written by an intelligent and literate author. ( )
  Romonko | Feb 9, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is the second book in a series on an American born detective living in Rome. I actually enjoyed this book more than the first, I found the characters more developed, and the mysteries behind the crimes being committed made for a more interesting story. Since the story takes place in Italy, of course there is a fair amount of corruption and organized crime. ( )
  mdtocci | Nov 22, 2011 |
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For my father, Seamus F. Deane
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In the photo on his desk, Antonio was smiling straight at the camera and holding up a gold medal with a blue plaque on which was written Manager of the Year.
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Alec Blume returns to action in this intricate and heart-pounding new novel. With the help of his associate Caterina, Blume is called to the scene of a death connected to a spate of muggings. Though the Carabinieri-military police-are trying to control the investigation, Blume, never one to bow to authority, pursues it his own way.

When it becomes clear that the victim is an art forger, enemies-and hidden treasures-begin to emerge. Relying on old friends and intuitions, Blume hurls himself into the center of the mystery, risking his job, his neck, and just about anyone who trusts him.

Immersed in its old-world setting and written with satisfying detail about inks and signatures and the tools of forgery, this is a riveting novel, with rich characters and a spectacular conclusion.
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