I just finished the audio book The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz Smith. I put it on my list as it was a WWII book and it sounded like it could be good.
So did I like it?It was okay.
I liked that it was written from an Italian perspective. Not a lot of the books I have read are. What I didn’t like….I didn’t feel close to the characters at all. There was no plot building…no suspense….even things that should have been dramatic like a scene with guns and the good guys were going to get killed…nothing. I just happened.
Here’s what Amazon had to say: “The highly anticipated new standalone novel from Martin Cruz Smith, whom The Washington Post has declared “that uncommon phenomenon: a popular and well-regarded crime novelist who is also a writer of real distinction,” The Girl from Venice is a suspenseful World War II love story set against the beauty, mystery, and danger of occupied Venice.
Venice, 1945. The war may be waning, but the city known as La Serenissima is still occupied and the people of Italy fear the power of the Third Reich. One night, under a canopy of stars, a fisherman named Cenzo comes across a young woman’s body floating in the lagoon and soon discovers that she is still alive and in trouble.
Born to a wealthy Jewish family, Giulia is on the run from the Wehrmacht SS. Cenzo chooses to protect Giulia rather than hand her over to the Nazis. This act of kindness leads them into the world of Partisans, random executions, the arts of forgery and high explosives, Mussolini’s broken promises, the black market and gold, and, everywhere, the enigmatic maze of the Venice Lagoon.
The Girl from Venice is a thriller, a mystery, and a retelling of Italian history that will take your breath away. Most of all it is a love story.”
As far as what Amazon said…it’s not a love story. It’s a boy meets girl and guess they’ll be together type thing.
Amazon readers gave the book 3.8 stars. That was generous. I’d give it more like 3.5. I wouldn’t recommend spending time on it. There are MUCH better books out there. I get so mad at myself when I pick a book and listen only to find out that had a read the reviews in the first place, I’d like not have picked it off the shelf. UGH.
I love Martin Cruz Smith, and hope you check out another of his books. His most successful books are about the Russian detective Arkady Renko, whom you might remember from “Gorky Park,” a book and movie from the ’80s. Very interesting and compelling, these books are based from a Russian detectives perspective, from Havana, to Moscow, to the Bering Sea, to Chernobyl. All the best!