The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Friday, February 5, 2016

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Playing with Fire By Tess Gerritsen

Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Pages:  250
Release Date:  27 October 2015
Genre:  Mystery/Historical Fiction
Format:  Hardcover

Book Description: 
A beautiful violinist is haunted by a very old piece of music she finds in a strange antique shop in Rome.

The first time Julia Ansdell picks up The Incendio Waltz, she knows it’s a strikingly unusual composition. But while playing the piece, Julia blacks out and awakens to find her young daughter implicated in acts of surprising violence. And when she travels to Venice to find the previous owner of the music, she uncovers a dark secret that involves dangerously powerful people—a family who would stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.

Wanda's Thoughts: 
The story and two timelines evolve around a musical composition, a waltz that seems to leave a curse on everyone who hears it. The music was haunting, complex, and powerful, and it comes with a tragic history.

Julia Ansdell, a violinist and professional musician from America, is happily married with a three year-old daughter. She finds a piece of music that is handwritten in an antique shop in Rome. Julia’s life is suddenly changed because of this Incendio waltz.

Lorenzo Tedesco, an Italian Jew, showed great promise as a musician. His father had a luthier shop where the finest violins in Venice were made. Lorenzo becomes involved in a sad and tragic love story with Laura.

Much of the story-line takes place in Italy during WWII, and this was my favorite part of the story. There were rumors that unthinkable things were happening in Poland - reports of mass deportation and labor camps. Women and children were also being arrested and transported by train. Some of the rumors were too horrible to believe.

An orchestra was formed to drown out the noise of the dying. The purpose of the music was not to entertain, but to disguise and distract. It could never be too loud to hide the horrors of the Jewish people. The atrocities of WWII and the horrors of the Holocaust was a dark period in history.

And the story unfolds as the conflict and tension build. The past mingles with the present and the author very cleverly weaves this story together.

The author delved into WWII history and brought out the unbelievable ugliness of the Holocaust. Captivating throughout, this was a heartfelt tale that was elegantly told. The author certainly knows how to weave true historical facts into fiction. An amazing read! 5 Stars.

About Tess Gerritsen: 
Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, "Adrift", which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.

Tess's first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), and The Bone Garden (2007). Her books have been translated into 31 languages, and more than 15 million copies have been sold around the world.

As well as being a New York Times bestselling author, she has also been a #1 bestseller in both Germany and the UK. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon.) Critics around the world have praised her novels as "Pulse-pounding fun" (Philadelphia Inquirer), "Scary and brilliant" (Toronto Globe and Mail), and "Polished, riveting prose" (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the "medical suspense queen".

Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.