What can you do when the sun is out, your thoughts turn to holidays, foreign travel and sipping Aperol spritz in a shady square – and yet for the moment that’s all a bit of a pipe dream? The solution is armchair travel, of course, and what could be better than a crime thriller set in a historical city with a violent past and tempestuous present? A crime novel that transports you to the sunnier climes of Italy, to a city full of beautiful piazzas and delicious tagliatelle al ragu: Bologna. A Quiet Death in Italy is the debut novel from Tom Benjamin and the start of a new crime series set in Bologna, featuring English private investigator Daniel Leicester. Despite the gorgeous location of the book and the plentiful references to mouth-watering meals in it (Bologna is Italy’s ‘food capital’, after all), this is not a crime novel lacking in darkness and grit. Beneath the beauty of Bologna, there is a sinister underside of corruption, anarchy and murder – providing Daniel Leicester with plenty of investigations to keep his and his father-in-law’s detective agency in business.
Just check out the beautiful cover; Bologna is known as the red city for two reasons: its glorious architecture of porticos and towers made of red brick, and for its politics of course – the city is famous for its communist leanings. Of course, these days it’s known for so much more but this is a work of fiction; totally absorbing and thrilling. And it will make you realise that in future days when we can get back to physical rather than vicarious travel, Bologna is a city well worth a visit on anyone’s itinerary.
by Tom Benjamin
'The locale is brought to life . . . the plot keeps you guessing' The Times
'A slow-burning, tense and brooding thriller' The Herald Scotland
'Tom Benjamin's debut novel blows the lid off a political cauldron in which Leftist agitators, property moguls, the police and city elders struggle for survival and dominance' Daily Mail
'It's an immensely promising debut, which leaves the reader feeling they really know the city.' Morning Star
Bologna: city of secrets, suspicion . . . and murder
When the body of a radical protestor is found floating in one of Bologna's underground canals, it seems that most of the city is ready to blame the usual suspects: the police.
But when private investigator Daniel Leicester, son-in-law to the former chief of police, receives a call from the dead man's lover, he follows a trail that begins in the 1970s and leads all the way to the rotten heart of the present-day political establishment.
Beneath the beauty of the city, Bologna has a dark underside, and English detective Daniel must unravel a web of secrets, deceit and corruption - before he is caught in it himself.
A dark and atmospheric crime thriller set in the beautiful Italian city of Bologna, perfect for fans of Donna Leon, Michael Dibdin and Philip Gwynne Jones.