Troubador Sweet Song, Bitter Loss

Released: 28/03/2022

ISBN: 9781803130996

eISBN: 9781838598419

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Sweet Song, Bitter Loss


When eleven year-old Giovanni Mirelti goes missing from his family home in the village of Montenero, Major D’Angelo of the Italian carabinieri takes charge of the search. 

Meanwhile, in the city of Pescara, Colonel Battista is faced with what appears to be a drug-related murder, as well as a possible imminent shipment by a people-trafficking gang, information he has gleaned from a prostitute informant. 

A clue to Giovanni’s disappearance prompts Sergeant Teresa Rossi to visit a British holiday-home owner in North-East England, but the situation becomes increasingly dangerous for everyone involved, leading to a dramatic and shocking climax. 

I enjoy a book that can run the gamut of my emotions and have me gasp when twists and turns are revealed. Sweet Song Bitter Loss by Paul Hencher, has done just that. I was first drawn to the description of the book because it takes place in Abruzzo, Italy, where my mother's family is from, along a coastal town of Pescara.

Major D'Angelo is in charge of finding a missing boy. The case leads him and the other carabinieri along a twisting path of mystery and intrigue. There were many good characters and storylines in this book, and they all kept my interest. The mystery was well plotted and had me guessing right up until the very end and the reveal.

I hope Mr. Hencher writes additional books. His storytelling and character development are done well, and I liked learning about the various towns and customs.

by Paula

Definitely something I could read again. I'm glad I had the opportunity to read this one. I have recommended this one to others already!

by Cierra

This was a great mystery that was intelligent, as well as full of intrigue and mystery. Thanks to the author's brilliant writing when describing Abruzzo, Italy, I want to visit there one day.

by Cristie

I would characterize this book as a bittersweet police procedural that pits rural policing against hardboiled crime. What begins as a seemingly simple case of a runaway child soon includes petty crime, drug and people trafficking, and brutal murders and, unfortunately, many of the victims are children, including a brave Vietnamese girl tricked into modern slavery and the missing boy's loyal sister. I loved the eastern Italy Abruzzi setting and the slow development of disparate investigations into a pattern that carabinieri major d'Angelo gets to decipher (with the aid of his sharp daughter). There's a good backstory for d'Angelo, who comes with a demanding wife and is the object of some ridicule by his subordinates for never carrying a gun, and the distinct personalities of the victims, family members and other police called to action made me eager to read more about these characters. The ending is rather abruptly cut off, but it's no cliffhanger, my interest never flagged, and the overall story was really enjoyable though with several tragic losses.

by Linda

Sweet Song, Bitter Loss by Paul Hencher is a novel set in rural Italy. It's a "who dunnit" novel and kept me guessing throughout.
Eleven year old Giovanni goes missing after an argument with his sisters fiancé. The Italian carabinieri wants Major D'Angelo to search for the missing boy. It is getting very difficult with each passing day... Simultaneously in Pescara, a sea side city, what appears to be a drug related murder, leads to a bigger chase related to human trafficking ring and an imminent shipment of migrants. Colonel Battista will leave no stone unturned.

I enjoyed the book but couldn't help being worried about Giovanni. It was a short and fast paced novel full of dark secrets and terrific suspense.

I was at the edge of my seat as there's a missing child, pesky neighbours, shots being heard around the time when Giovanni goes missing, drugs, human trafficking, and number of suspects- a butcher, a foreigner, the neighbours,the church..and I just had to finish it in one sitting.

by Sonali Ahir

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