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Friday, 31 July 2015

‘The Puppeteer’ by Timothy Williams

Published by Soho Crime,
11 December 2014.
ISBN :978-1-61695-462-8 (PB)

Northern Italy 1982. Commissario Piero, a senior investigative police officer, is on a brief holiday in Gardesana on idyllic Lake Garda from his home town on the River Po while his wife is on an extended business trip to the United States. While he is taking a breakfast coffee in a lakeside café, a car drives up, stops, a man gets out and shoots the man sitting next to Trotti. The victim, according to his identity papers, was Giovanni Maltese, a journalist. At first the local police think Trotti himself may have been the intended victim but then it is learned that the victim's name was actually Giovanni Ramoverde. There is indeed a link between Trotti and the victim: the link is that in 1960 Trotti was one of the police team investigating the murder of Ismaele Belluno by his son-in-law Douglas Ramoverde, father of Giovanni. In fact there are numerous links between Trotti and the death of Giovanni Ramoverde and the trial all those years ago of Douglas Ramoverde which form a labyrinth of connections with the hidden vested interests which had formed the true government of Italy for many years. It is all that Trotti can do to unveil some of those interests which led to the death of Giovanni but whether his investigations will ever lead to those truly responsible being held liable is another matter.

I thought this was an excellent book although it is difficult to follow - not surprising given the labyrinthine nature of Italian society. I shall look out for the author's other titles: Converging Parallels, Persona Non Grata, Black August, Big Italy.
Reviewer: Radmila May

Timothy Williams was born 1946, in Walthamstoe, Essex. He attended Woodford Green Preparatory School, Chigwell School and St Andrews University. He has previously lived in France, Italy, and in Romania, where he worked for the British Council. He  is a bilingual British author who has written five novels in English featuring Commissario Piero Trotti, a character critics have referred to as a personification of modern Italy.

Radmila May was born in the US but has lived in the UK ever since apart from seven years in The Hague. She read law at university but did not go into practice. Instead she worked for many years for a firm of law publishers and has been working for them off and on ever since. For the last few years she has been one of three editors working on a new edition of a practitioners' text book on Criminal Evidence by her late husband, publication of which has been held up for a variety of reasons but hopefully will be published by the end of 2015. She also has an interest in archaeology in which subject she has a Diploma.

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