Playing with Fire

6 CDs. 7 hrs. Brilliance. Oct. 2015. ISBN 9781501248047. $36.99. digital download. F
Julia Ansdell is a brilliant violinist and mom to a toddler she thinks is trying to kill her. After returning from Italy with sheet music for a rare and poignant waltz, "Incendio," dangerous "accidents" have plagued her. Julia's husband thinks she's crazy, but she thinks the waltz has cast a spell on her child. The story of its composer, an abducted Italian Jew who was made to perform at a Nazi concentration camp, is as sad and haunting as the piece he wrote. Gerritsen, perhaps best known for her "Rizzoli and Isles" series, does something different here, blending a strong historical narrative with a contemporary suspense plot. The result is compelling, and the two stories weave together seamlessly. Narrators Julia Whelan and Will Damron are understated in their performances, keeping the focus on the plot. The audio production contains well-placed and well-executed performances of "Incendio," a true bonus.
VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of Karin Slaughter, Tana French, Lisa Gardner, and similar authors. ["The historical details and subtle twists take this nicely paced novel out of the realm of an ordinary thriller": LJ 8/15 review of the Ballantine hc.]

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