This is a very good read, although I wouldn’t say it was fantastic. It is set in 1958, when Adam Strickland, a talented Cambridge student is sent to the mysterious ‘Villa Docci’ in Italy, to do a thesis on the 400 year old memorial garden attached to the villa.
As Adam starts to unravel the story told in the memorial garden, he realises that he is investigating a 400 year old murder. He also finds himself trying to solve a more recent murder – that of the Docci family’s eldest son Emilio, who was killed 14 years earlier.
Adam finds himself getting drawn further and further in by his fascination with the garden and the Docci family – this leads him into a web of deceit and intrigue, where nothing and nobody is quite what they seem.
I did enjoy this book a lot, although I felt that some parts of it were very improbable; however, if this does not bother you, then I would definitely recommend this. The characters weren’t explored in any great depth, but this didn’t really matter, as the book is more plot-driven than character driven.
A lighter and easier read than I expected – also made me interested in reading Dante, at some stage in the future, as Adam takes much of his inspiration from The Divine Comedy.