1955: Serafina Bettini, an investigator with the Florence police department, has her own demons. A beautiful woman, Serafina carefully hides her scars along with her haunting memories of the war. But when she is assigned to a gruesome new case—a serial killer targeting the Rosatis, murdering the remnants of the family one-by-one in cold blood—Serafina finds herself digging into a past that involves both the victims and her own tragic history.
Set against an exquisitely rendered Italian countryside, The Light in the Ruins unveils a breathtaking story of moral paradox, human frailty, and the mysterious ways of the heart.
There’s no way to pigeonhole Chris Bohjalian’s latest book. It’s a murder mystery, but it’s not a typical murder mystery. There’s romance, but it’s not your usual romance. It’s historical fiction, but it’s about a time and place that hasn’t been featured in many books.
The upheaval in Italy during WWII cannot be overstated. Bohjalian brings this period to life by focusing on the struggles of the Rosati family. Germany and Italy are allies…until they aren’t. Loyalty becomes a very sticky subject.
A decade after the end of the war members of the Rosati family are being targeted by a vengeful killer. Do the murders have something to do with the way the family conducted itself during the war? No spoilers here! I hope you’re as surprised by the ending as I was.
The Light in the Ruins is a well-crafted and polished tale. The setting is impressive and the characters are convincing. Mr. Bohjalian has done it again. I’ll absolutely be looking forward to whatever he writes next.
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