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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 50 star ratings
3 reviews

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4.2 out of 5
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 7 person found this review helpful

    7 people found this review helpful

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    Torn about rating this one

    When I saw that Tess Gerritsen had a new stand alone novel being released, I jumped at the chance to read it. This ended up being a book that is really hard for me to rate. Tess Gerritsen definitely knows how to write and I liked a lot of things about this book. Unfortunately, there were some things that I didn't like about this book as well. I think that the experience of reading this book ended up being just okay for me. The story really hooked me from the very beginning and I thought that I was well on my way to a 4 or 5 star rating. I absolutely love music so when I started reading and realized that music was going to be a part of the story, I knew that I was in for a treat. One of the main characters in the book, Julia, is a violinist. Julia collects music and at the beginning of the story she acquires a piece of music while on a trip to Rome that ends up playing an important role in the story. The book lost me a little when the story shifted to tell Lorenzo's story. I am not always a fan of books with a dual story line. This is one of those cases where the two stories just don't fit together very well. I liked Lorenzo's story just as much as I did Julia's but the thread connecting the pieces was thin at best. Lorenzo is a Jewish musician living in Venice during World War II. The parts of the story that focused on Lorenzo really were often heartbreaking. My biggest problem with this book was the ending. I HATED how the book ended. I actually needed to reflect on it for a few days before I could sit down to write a review. In Julia's case the solution seemed like nothing more than a cop out. I honestly cannot remember the last time that I was so thoroughly disappointed in the ending of a book. The part of the epilogue that attempted to pull the two stories together a little better was also a huge letdown. The book had some great moments as well. There were a few really creepy scenes that really had me glued to the book. I couldn't wait to figure out what the heck was going on. There were also some moments in the book that were so vividly described that they elicited some strong emotions. In the end, I am glad that I read the book and I would recommend it to others. I plan to read more from Tess Gerritsen soon. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing - Ballantine via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Intriguing and a mysterious page turner!

    Caught my intrigue the minute I read the description when I saw it at Coles! Cover to cover it brought mystery and heart-pounding excitement, so much so that I couldn't put it down! The conclusion brought you to a 'Whaaat?' kind of moment that you weren't expecting at all! All-in-all a fantastic read and page turner that you just don't want to put down! I will definitely be reading more titles by Tess Gerritsen! Loved it, well done!
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Playing with Fire is an intriguing novel!

    I just finished Tess Gerritsen’s latest novel Playing with Fire. It is told from two different perspectives. Julia Ansdell is in Rome, Italy. She was playing a festival nearby (she is a violinist). She is picking up souvenirs for her husband, Rob and her daughter, Lily (a cute, little blonde) before heading home. Julia notices an antique store with old music and books. Julia collects old and unusual music. She picks up a book with gypsy music and a single sheet of music falls out. It is handwritten with the title Incendio by L. Todesco (means fire). The first time Julia plays the music at home while enjoying a day with her daughter, Lily. The next thing she knows is her cat is dead and Lily is holding the garden tool that killed the cat. A few days later Julia is playing the music again (and Lily is home) and she is stabbed in the leg with a piece of broken glass. Lily is saying “hurt Mommy” according to Julia. Multiple tests on run on Lily and the only thing they discover is that the music seems to be familiar to Lily (according to a test they performed). Julia withdraws from her daughter. The ever helpful husband believes the problem must lie with his wife. He wants her to go to a specialist (a psychiatrist that helps fathers get custody of their children). Julia is determined to find out more about the music. Lorenzo Todesco is an Italian-Jew in Venice, Italy in 1938. A friend of his grandfather’s wants him to perform a duet with his granddaughter, Laura (a lovely, bubbly, strong blonde). While rehearsing the two fall in love. But then they are unable to perform because Lorenzo is Jewish. Laura tries to save Lorenzo and his family, but they refuse to leave or realize how terrible it is going to get for Jews in Italy. Lorenzo ends up in an Italian concentration camp where he is picked to be a musician. Lorenzo plays music with other musicians to cover up the sounds of the poor souls being murdered in the camps. Lorenzo writes a special piece of music that he titled Incendio. Playing with Fire is an interesting story. I enjoyed reading this novel. I feel that the World War II theme has been overplayed this year, but I did like Tess Gerritsen’s book. It is different from the other novels I have read. It is overall a very well written book. The one thing I did not like was the abrupt ending. The book was going along at a good pace and then someone hit the brakes (whiplash). I enjoyed how the two perspectives tied together, but I was disappointed because it did not contain a great paranormal ending (the book felt like a paranormal book, but it really is not). I give Playing with Fire 4 out of 5 stars (which means I liked it). I received a complimentary copy of Playing with Fire from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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