Nabb, Magdalen - 'The Innocent'
THE INNOCENT is the thirteenth and latest of the Florence set Marshal Guarnaccia series, which began twenty-five years ago with DEATH OF AN ENGLISHMAN.
Marshal Guarnaccia is feeling grumpy what with the excessive heat for June and the fact that everyone around him seems to be in love, including his immediate boss, a withdrawn subordinate and his own son.
Amongst a few petty cases, a serious matter arises when the body of a dead young woman is found in a pool in a secluded part of the Boboli Gardens. The body is unidentifiable, however a manufacturer's brand on the clothing leads Guarnaccia to a small, unnamed piazza nearby. The piazza is home to a number of artisans with whom he has a friendly and trusting relationship. However when the body is identified, the subsequent investigation not only threatens Guarnaccia's standing with his friends but it points to a murderer very close to Guarnaccia.
THE INNOCENT is an enjoyable and swift read with a straightforward prose style and an engaging main character. The writing elicits enormous sympathy for the victim, who is completely innocent, and the whole tragic situation. The identity of the murderer is unclear until the very end and even then the degree of culpability is left unresolved. Florence is lovingly brought to life and I enjoyed reading about the Marshal's family life and his past. I would gladly have dived straight into the next book in the series, had it been available.
NB. The attractive cover features the Boboli Gardens.
Karen Meek, England