Author: D. V. Bishop
Series: Cesare Aldo #3
Published by: Pan Macmillan on Aug. 14, 2023
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Source: Publishers Group Canada
Book Rating: 9/10
Florence. Summer, 1538.
A night patrol finds a rich merchant hanged and set ablaze in the city’s main piazza. More than mere murder, this killing is intended to put the fear of God into Florence. Forty years earlier on this date, puritanical monk Girolamo Savonarola was executed the same way in the same place. Does this new killing mean Savonarola’s vengeful spirit has risen again?
Or are his fanatical disciples plotting to revive the monk’s regime of holy terror? Cesare Aldo has his suspicions but is hunting thieves and fugitives in the Tuscan countryside, leaving Constable Carlo Strocchi to investigate the ritual killing. When another important merchant is slain even more publicly than the first, those rich enough to escape the summer heat are fleeing to their country estates. But the Tuscan hills can also be dangerous places.
Soon growing religious fervor combines with a scorching heatwave to drive the city ever closer to madness, while someone is stalking powerful men that forged lifelong alliances during the dark days of Savonarola and his brutal followers. Unless Aldo and Strocchi can work together to stop the killer, Florence could become a bonfire of the vanities once more . . .
Dark, alluring, and suspenseful!
Ritual of Fire, the third novel in the Cesare Aldo series, takes us back to Renaissance Florence in the summer of 1538, where Cesare Aldo and Constable Stocchi find themselves having to finally confront the rift that’s been straining their relationship in order to work to together to catch a ruthless killer who seems to have a very specific target list and a penchant for reenacting a ritualistic killing from the past.
The prose is descriptive and tight. The characters are driven, fearless, and conscientious. And the plot is a complex, absorbing tale full of danger, deception, corruption, politics, religion, friendship, savagery, terror, and murder.
Overall, Ritual of Fire is an addictive, engrossing, thrilling addition to what has become a must-read series for me with its flawed characters, rich historical setting, and action-packed, gritty storylines.
This novel is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.