I had never read a book by this author before, but had heard many good things about his previous books, so I thought I’d give it a try.
In 1943, an Italian noble family, the Rosatis, were forced to share their estate with the Nazis. Life at their idyllic haven had now shattered, as the war came to their front door. The Rosatis were forced into a balancing act, trying to keep their family safe without betraying their country. Fast forward to 1955. A serial killer is on the loose and the victims are members of this noble family. As the story unfolds, jumping back and forth between the two decades, the reader is left guessing how the War continues to haunt this family.
First, this wasn’t at all what I expected. I thought it would more along the lines of historical fiction, but in actuality it was a murder mystery similar to the Donna Leon bestsellers. That said, I’m not really a fan of this genre. I thought the book was okay, but I would have preferred more developed characters and a more fleshed out story. I could have stayed in World War II and done without the serial killer. But that’s just me. I’m sure there are plenty of readers out there that will enjoy Bohjalian’s latest summer release. Thanks to Doubleday for sending me an advance review copy of The Light in the Ruins. Look for this novel in bookstores in mid-July.
3 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2013