Review - MURDER ON THE 18TH GREEN, Frederico Maria Rivalta

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Publication Details
Book Title: 
Murder on the 18th Green
ISBN: 
9781503948679
Year of Publication: 
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Book Synopsis

The Euganean Hills golf community in northern Italy is a golfer’s paradise. With a perpetual smell of freshly cut grass, rolling green plains, and bright blue skies, it seems nothing could go wrong for the tight-knit group that lives there.

But the normally laid-back residents are shaken to their cores when one of their own turns up at the club brutally murdered. After discovering his friend’s body, investigative journalist Riccardo Ranieri makes it his mission to track down the perpetrator of the heinous crime, and before long, he finds himself a target. As more bodies turn up, no one is safe from suspicion. When Riccardo begins to unravel the mystery, he sets in motion a series of unforeseen events—and it’s clear his quiet community will never be the same.

Book Review

Laid back as the residents of Euganean Hills environment may be, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to blow-in, and investigative journalist, Riccardo Ranieri who has tense, nervous and put-upon down pat.

Starting out reading MURDER ON THE 18TH GREEN, there is the distinct possibility that Ranieri is going to annoy some readers. He’s an odd sort of combination of ego and vulnerability, sincerity and glibness that makes him very hard to pick in the beginning. It doesn’t hurt that for a man who, on moving to this country location, has availed himself of the companionship of two beautiful German Shepherds who he obviously loves. It doesn’t help that his attitude towards their care and feeding seems somewhat haphazard, even allowing for the difficult circumstances Ranieri finds himself in, what with being the man who discovers a friends body, getting shot, finding himself investigating the death, and his own shooting, annoying his neighbours, the police, and half the golf club members along the way. None of which seems to bother him a bit, until it starts to bother him a lot. Needless to say he’s a wonderfully frustrating character and endlessly fascinating. Which is just as well as he’s also just about the entire focus of this novel, although there are some standout cameos from his police bodyguard and others.

There’s such a strong sense of culture and attitude about this novel, that is sweetened all the more by a dry and understated sense of humour. Readers that get that a large percentage of Ranieri’s ego is tempered beautifully with his own ability to poke fun at himself will find him engaging. The plot for the novel is also nicely played out, although to be honest, the ultimate killer might not be that hard to pick, but the machinations along the way are well worth following. This is a lot more about why than necessarily who or how.

Often funny, very engaging, MURDER ON THE 18TH GREEN is well worth a look, although, it might make you think twice about a sauna after a round of golf.

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