Flowers Over the Inferno

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What to expect


[ ] Too old for her job
[ ] Overweight and diabetic
[ ] Terrified
[ ] The best detective you’ll ever meet

A ruthless killer is spreading panic in a quiet village in the Italian Alps.
Police Inspector Teresa Battaglia is the only one who can stop them.
But how can you catch a monster when you’re slowly losing your mind?

Critics Review

  • Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, a criminal profile expert, is in her sixties, overweight, lonely, diabetic, full of the ailments of ageing – and delightful. It’s rare that such a character enters crime fiction for the first time, and with such gripping impact.

    Marcel Berlins, The Times
  • Creepy and evocative… but what gives this novel particular appeal is the sixty-something central character, whose abrasive manner hides a warm heart

  • This book has all the right ingredients: a brilliant protagonist, an eerie setting and a community hiding dark secrets

    Dead Good (Debut crime novels to watch out for in 2019)
  • Superintendent Teresa Battaglia is an Italian cop in her mid-sixties and as such a rather unique character in crime fiction where the leading protagonists are normally younger. She’s overweight, diabetic and has been saddled with a new, younger sidekick, city inspector Massimo Marini which whom she initially doesn’t hit it off too well despite all his own goodwill. A naked man with his eyes gouged out is found in an isolated forest and the two conflicting cops are assigned the case, which inevitably becomes so much more complicated when echoes from the past swiftly intervene in the investigation. The first volume in an Italian trilogy with these two characters proves a fast, enjoyable read with all the right police procedural elements, monsters in plain sight and even killers who might intriguingly provoke some form of sympathy amongst the reader, a clockwork plot and a suitable sense of place which verges on both the ominous and the exotic, this was a major hit back in its own country and one understands why. Impeccable crime writing.

    Crime Time
  • If you are looking for a chilling murder mystery set in a landscape so majestic that it takes your breath away and fills your soul, head off to the Alps with the intriguing Detective Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, an Italian police chief who is set to give Tyneside’s Vera a run for her moneyFlowers Over the Inferno is Ilaria Tuti’s stunning and atmospheric debut novel – translated into English by the talented Ekin Olap – and the first book in the Teresa Battaglia trilogy. Tuti lives in Friuli, in the far north-east of Italy, and she has harnessed all the harsh, wild beauty of this mountainous region near the border with Austria for a bone-chilling story of dark crimes and hidden evils festering in a small, claustrophobic community… Tuti’s fast-paced, taut and gripping thriller has more than a touch of creepy Gothic as the Alpine scenery becomes the jaw-dropping stage set for a gruesome murder mystery where nature is red in tooth and claw, and a deadly menace threatens to engulf a village with too many destructive secrets… The battling Teresa Battaglia is the undoubted star of the show, a charming enigma who fills the pages with her compassion, good sense, empathy and tenacity but who can put a person in their place with either a look or a word… Her crusty sarcasm and razor sharpness hides a lonely, fast-ageing woman who refuses to surrender to her mental and physical vulnerabilities and instead uses every ounce of her determination and inner strength to fight on… Exciting, ice-coated, chilling and thrilling, Flowers Over the Inferno welcomes readers to the deepest, darkest shades of Italian Noir.

    Lancashire Post
  • Exhilarating… Teresa Battaglia, who must deal with casual and constant sexism in her position of authority, is an unforgettable character readers will want to see a lot more of.

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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