Thr Medici Murders
By David Hewson
What’s it about?
Venice is a city full of secrets. For hundreds of years it has been the scene of scandal, intrigue and murderous rivalries. And it remains so today.
1548, Lorenzino de Medici, himself a murderer and a man few will miss, is assassinated by two hired killers.
Today, Marmaduke Godolphin, British TV historian and a man even fewer will miss, is stabbed by a stiletto blade on the exact same spot, his body dropping into the canal.
Can the story of the first murder explain the attack on Godolphin? The Carabinieri certainly think so. They recruit retired archivist Arnold Clover to unpick the mystery and to help solve the case. But the conspiracy against Godolphin runs deeper than anyone imagined.
What I think?
I love thrillers based around unsolved historical mysteries and treasures, so this was right up my street.
Arnold Clover is a retired archivist, now living in Venice. He is called to the Carabinieri to help solve the murder of renowned historian and television presenter, Marmaduke Goldolphin.
The novel is framed by Clover’s day-long interview with formidable Capitano Valentina Fabbri. She asks him to leave out no detail as he recounts his involvement with Goldolphin’s recent research in Venice, his history with the other historians and studies at Cambridge, and the historical background of the Medici murders.
This means that complex historical stories and theories are recounted in a way that makes them both clear and interesting for the reader.
The book explores lots of ideas about history, how it is written and revealed, and who controls the narratives of popular history.
Goldolphin is a polarising figure. As a popular presenter on television, he is perceived to be clever and charming. In reality, he is arrogant, demanding, and a womaniser. As he ages, his career is waning, and he needs a big win to revive his career. He is willing to do anything to make this happen, including manipulating historical facts and using artefacts of questionable providence.
Arnold is a fantastic narrator. He is thoughtful and reflective, erudite, and interesting. His relationship with Fabbri develops over the course of the day, and I was left with the sense that this investigation is just the beginning of his Venetian adventures.
Venice is also a star in this book. The architecture, history, atmosphere, and food are important features of the novel. This absolutely made me want to visit and drink negronis!
I really enjoyed the mystery, the very satisfying resolution and the complex characters. A great read.
About the author:
David Hewson is a former journalist with The Times, Sunday Times and Independent. He is the author of more than twenty-five novels, including his Rome-based Nic Costa series which has been published in fifteen languages, and his Amsterdam-based series featuring detective Pieter Vos. He has also written three acclaimed adaptations of the Danish TV series, The Killing. He lives near Canterbury in Kent. @david_hewson | davidhewson.com
Thank you to Canongate Books for my gifted copy of The Medici Murders and to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in this fantastic blog tour.