Donato Carrisi

Sphere pbk 11.99

Released: 6th May 2010

Reviewer: Angela Hatherell


Mother of 5, grannie of 11, before marriage to Army officer she was an embryo librarian. Now retired and volunteering two afternoons a week in Oxfam bookshop. Crossword fan (Telegraph, Observer, Times) and most enjoys reading historical/crime

This a mammoth of a book, at times lumbering, at times rushing headlong. I was originally puzzled to know where it is located, as there was no sense of setting, until the realisation that no place names were mentioned and the names of all the characters came from all round the world led me to suppose that it is set in America. This lack of atmosphere may be caused by the translation.

After a preliminary scene establishing the character of Mila Vasquez, a policewoman specializing in finding missing people, the story starts with discovery of five graves each containing the severed left arm of a young girl. The police team set to solve the problem is joined by Mila and by Goran Gavila, a psychological expert. There is conflict of personalities between the police and the two outsiders, both of whom appear to have secrets in their past. The plot unfolds with discovery of a sixth arm.

The gradual identification of the victims leads to exciting action, and the identity of the Whisperer, and the unravelling of the strands of the plot is fascinating. The significance of the past experiences of Mila and Goran leads to a satisfyingly surprise ending.






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