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Sunday 31 July 2011

‘The Lost Daughter’ by Lucretia Grindle

Published by Mantle, 26 August 2011. ISBN: 978-0-230-74623-7

Seventeen year-old Kristen Carson is an American student studying in Florence. When she is reported missing by her father, who has flown over from the USA to celebrate her birthday, the Italian police are not overly concerned.  ‘She will turn up in a few days having been holed up in some hotel with a new boyfriend having an exciting time’, says Alessandro Pallioti, one of Florence’s most senior police officials. But Kenneth Carson is a doctor to the wealthy and famous, and knows people in high places, so reluctantly Pallioti puts his deputy Enzo Saenz onto the case.

After interviewing Kristen’s flat mate alarm bells ring for Enzo, when it appears that Kristen has been dating Antonio Tomaselli, who apart from being some thirty-years older than Kristen is a member of the Red Brigades who were responsible for the kidnap and death of Aldo Moro in 1978, and the death of many others.  Whilst they are still casting around trying to get a handle on situation, Anna Carson, Kristen’s stepmother also goes missing.

The main narrators of the story are Enzo Saenz as he struggles to make sense of the two disappearances, and the background to the story which is told by a series of flashbacks from Anna Carson’s past. 

So enthralling and descriptive is the writing that I became so immersed in the story that there were occasions when I looked up from the book and was surprised to find I was in the UK, and not in Florence.  

This is a thrilling and heartbreaking story of a doomed love affair, which survived for decades. The stunning climax brings with it repercussions for all parties.  I urge you all not to miss this exciting and fascinating tale. I see that there are three earlier books by this author, which I now have to read.
Lizzie Hayes

Lucretia Grindle was born in Boston Massachusetts and grew up spending half her time in the United States and half her time in the UK. Author of The Night Spinners, The Faces of Angels, and the highly acclaimed The Villa Trist, The Lost Daughter is her fourth book.

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