The Italian Alps,1944. The Resistance is fighting a bitter battle against German forces on the treacherous mountains of the Valtellina. Eighteen-year-old Sandro Bellini falls in love with the wife of his Commander. No good can come of it.
London,1999. Michael Keats is mourning the death of his wife, killed in a hit and run accident in Northern Italy. His discovery that she had been having an affair devastates him and he sets out to find the identity of her lover.
That journey leads him to the villages of the Valtellina, where he becomes embroiled in a crime of treachery and revenge. The brutal repercussions of the war are still reverberating, and as Michael uncovers the truth of his wife’s affair, he reveals five decades of duplicity and deception.
The story alternates between 1944 during the war and 1999 with Michael having discovered his wife was having an affair before her untimely death, leaving him with a lot of unanswered questions.
I loved the setting of the Italian Alps, although the time setting isn’t one I envied with a war going on. The author’s writing brings it all very much to life and I could easily visualise the sights and areas that were described though out.
Michael I was drawn to from the off. At first I felt sorry for him that he had lost his wife of which then turned into anger on learning of her affair. Like him, I wanted answers and those answers lead him back to Valtellina.
I was as gripped in the present day as I was in the past whilst reading this novel. I had no clue though how these two timelines had any relevance on each other. It made for a gripping and intriguing read though as we wait to find out.
The Partisan Heart is a gentle yet all consuming story that hooked me from the off. It isn’t some fast paced, action thriller but it didn’t need to be as the authors skilful writing and the engrossing story line was enough to hold my interest. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this story as with an author I’ve never read before, you never know quite what to expect. If you are after a story full of mystery and suspense with a wonderful setting, then I would certainly recommend this one.
My thanks to Muswell Press for a readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
The Partisan Heart is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link).