Alleva was dead, Massoni was dead, and Blume could hear exhilaration in Paolini’s tone. Revenge and reprieve all at once.
Enter Alec Blume, a police commissioner who is an American but has lived in Rome since his teens. Alec’s parents were murdered in a bank robbery gone bad, which gives him a cynical outlook on life. Blume is not your typical cop; he is sarcastic with co-workers and supervisors, he is overly zealous and far from suave when approaching women, and spends part of the book in a sling, awkwardly pursuing the bad guys when he should be home in bed. All of these traits make him a flawed but likable hero.
All of the players in the novel come across as completely believable, because the author avoids the stereotypical, and emphasizes the quirkiness in both large and small characters. The fast-moving plot has several interesting twists, and the tone is tongue-in-cheek. This is the first in a series of Commissario Blume novels, and anyone who reads this one will be looking forward to the next.