Tess Gerritsen's 'Playing With Fire' is compelling story

AP News
Posted: Oct 26, 2015 11:41 AM
Tess Gerritsen's 'Playing With Fire' is compelling story

"Playing With Fire" (Ballantine Books), by Tess Gerritsen

Tess Gerritsen, author of the series featuring Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and coroner Maura Isles, delivers an outstanding story that's totally different with "Playing With Fire."

Violinist Julia Ansdell is visiting Rome. She stumbles into an antiques store and buys some music. Inside the book is a loose page with an unknown composition titled the "Incendio" waltz. Ansdell is intrigued, but when she gets home and begins to play the music, her 3-year-old daughter has a violent reaction to the piece.

The author of the waltz is a young man named Lorenzo who lived in Venice, Italy, before the start of World War II. His family recognizes his talent as a violinist and teams him with a young musician named Laura to compete as a duo in a local contest. Lorenzo and Laura begin to develop feelings for each other, but his Jewish heritage will soon collide with their hopes and dreams.

The novel jumps back and forth between the tales, and both are equally compelling and read like a beautiful symphony.

"Incendio," the musical piece that ties the two stories together, was composed by Gerritsen. Internationally renowned violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou performs the work, and visitors to their websites can download the music. It's worth a listen.

Fans of Gerritsen will be won over by the story line and characters of "Playing With Fire." Readers who have been debating whether to read one of her novels, or those who are looking for a gripping historical tale, shouldn't worry about being burned.