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Playing with Fire: A Novel
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Published:
Random House Publishing Group 2015
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Description
A gripping standalone thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of the Rizzoli & Isles series

INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LOS ANGELES TIMES AND SUSPENSE MAGAZINE
 
In a shadowy antiques shop in Rome, violinist Julia Ansdell happens upon a curious piece of music—the Incendio waltz—and is immediately entranced by its unusual composition. Full of passion, torment, and chilling beauty, and seemingly unknown to the world, the waltz, its mournful minor key, its feverish arpeggios, appear to dance with a strange life of their own. Julia is determined to master the complex work and make its melody heard.
 
Back home in Boston, from the moment Julia’s bow moves across the strings, drawing the waltz’s fiery notes into the air, something strange is stirred—and Julia’s world comes under threat. The music has a terrifying and inexplicable effect on her young daughter, who seems violently transformed. Convinced that the hypnotic strains of Incendio are weaving a malevolent spell, Julia sets out to discover the man and the meaning behind the score.
 
Her quest beckons Julia to the ancient city of Venice, where she uncovers a dark, decades-old secret involving a dangerously powerful family that will stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.
Praise for Playing with Fire
 
“Compelling . . . I defy you to read the first chapter and not singe your fingers reading the rest.”—David Baldacci
 
“One of the best and most original thrillers of the year.”—Providence Journal
 
“[A] novel brimming with emotion, literary description, and psychological suspense.”—The Huffington Post
 
“Will make readers drop everything to immerse themselves in its propulsive dual narrative.”—Los Angeles Times
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/27/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101884355
ASIN:
B00UEL0I4I
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Tess Gerritsen. (2015). Playing with Fire: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Tess Gerritsen. 2015. Playing With Fire: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Tess Gerritsen, Playing With Fire: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Tess Gerritsen. Playing With Fire: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen earned international acclaim for her first novel of suspense, Harvest. She introduced detective Jane Rizzoli in The Surgeon (2001) and Dr. Maura Isles in The Apprentice (2002) and has gone on to write numerous other titles in the celebrated Rizzoli & Isles series, most recently The Mephisto Club, The Keepsake, Ice Cold, The Silent Girl, Last to Die, and Die Again. Her latest novel is the standalone thriller Playing with Fire. A physician, Tess Gerritsen lives in Maine.
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Playing with Fire
fullDescription
A gripping standalone thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of the Rizzoli & Isles series

INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LOS ANGELES TIMES AND SUSPENSE MAGAZINE
 
In a shadowy antiques shop in Rome, violinist Julia Ansdell happens upon a curious piece of music—the Incendio waltz—and is immediately entranced by its unusual composition. Full of passion, torment, and chilling beauty, and seemingly unknown to the world, the waltz, its mournful minor key, its feverish arpeggios, appear to dance with a strange life of their own. Julia is determined to master the complex work and make its melody heard.
 
Back home in Boston, from the moment Julia’s bow moves across the strings, drawing the waltz’s fiery notes into the air, something strange is stirred—and Julia’s world comes under threat. The music has a terrifying and inexplicable effect on her young daughter, who seems violently transformed. Convinced that the hypnotic strains of Incendio are weaving a malevolent spell, Julia sets out to discover the man and the meaning behind the score.
 
Her quest beckons Julia to the ancient city of Venice, where she uncovers a dark, decades-old secret involving a dangerously powerful family that will stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.
Praise for Playing with Fire
 
“Compelling . . . I defy you to read the first chapter and not singe your fingers reading the rest.”—David Baldacci
 
“One of the best and most original thrillers of the year.”—Providence Journal
 
“[A] novel brimming with emotion, literary description, and psychological suspense.”—The Huffington Post
 
“Will make readers drop everything to immerse themselves in its propulsive dual narrative.”—Los Angeles Times
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Times
      • content: "Compelling . . . I defy you to read the first chapter and not singe your fingers reading the rest."--David Baldacci "One of the best and most original thrillers of the year."--Providence Journal "[A] novel brimming with emotion, literary description, and psychological suspense."--The Huffington Post "Will make readers drop everything to immerse themselves in its propulsive dual narrative."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        August 3, 2015
        On a trip to Rome, violinist Julia Ansdell, the narrator of this haunting standalone from bestseller Gerritsen (The Bone Garden), buys an old music book titled Gypsy from an antique shop. Inside the book, on a loose sheet of paper, is a handwritten waltz, Incendio, by one L. Todesco. Back home in Boston, Julia plays Incendio on her violin, but doing so appears to set off a series of calamities, starting with the death of the family cat, that upset her relationships with her husband, Rob, and their three-year-old daughter, Lily. Julia subsequently travels to Venice, to try to learn more about the music and its Jewish composer, Lorenzo Todesco. Flashbacks spanning 1938 to 1944 chronicle Lorenzo’s tragic story, in particular his romance with Catholic Laura Balboni, as the Fascist regime’s ever harsher anti-Semitic laws tear families and friends apart. Gerritsen movingly depicts Julia’s search, which has some surprising repercussions and builds to a satisfying crescendo. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from September 1, 2015
        A suspenseful thriller about mysterious music and a violinist's fear of her child. Julia Ansdell is a violinist with a 3-year-old daughter, Lily. While in Italy, Julia buys an old piece of sheet music titled Incendio by an L. Todesco, whom she's never heard of. When she plays the composition at home in the U.S., Lily appears to go crazy, killing their cat, stabbing Julia in the leg with a shard of glass, and causing her to fall down a flight of stairs. Does the music possess an evil quality? Or does the problem lie within Julia herself, as her husband, Rob, thinks? "I know how absurd I sound," she says, "claiming that a 3-year-old plotted to kill me." Afraid Rob wants her committed, she flies to Italy to try to learn more about the music's origin. In a parallel story, Lorenzo Todesco is a young violinist in 1940s Italy. He practices for a duet competition with 17-year-old cellist Laura Balboni. They play beautifully together and know they will win-perhaps they'll even marry one day. But this is Mussolini's Italy, and a brutal war is on. As the plotlines converge, people die, and Julia places herself and others in mortal danger. In fact, the stakes are even higher than she knows. A friend tells Julia, "The seasons don't care how many corpses lie rotting in the fields; the flowers will still bloom." This stand-alone novel has no bearing on the author's Rizzoli & Isles series, but the crafting is equally masterful. For example, the musical descriptions are perfect: "The melody twists and turns, jarred by accidentals....I feel as if my bow takes off on its own, that it's moving as if bewitched and I'm just struggling to hang on to it." Clear your schedule for this one-you won't want to put it down until you're finished.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        November 1, 2015
        Musician Julia Ansdell is playing in Rome with her orchestra when she stumbles upon a mysterious music shop and an ancient-looking collection of Gypsy tunes she can't help but purchase. Once home, she finds that a single page of the manuscript falls looseIncendio, a haunting melody that seems to elicit a series of violent acts from Julia's daughter, Lily. Julia's claims that Lily has been possessed by the song and is trying to hurt her mother are met with skepticism and concern for Julia's health, an attitude that is buoyed by Julia's history of psychosis on her own mother's side. As Julia seeks the origins of Incendio and the life of its composer, Gerritsen's narrative weaves back and forth between Julia's time and that of musical prodigy Lorenzo Todesco, who faces the growing anti-Semitism in WWII Italy. These story lines arch, intertwine, and combust in a riveting finale. This is a moving, powerful story about struggle, love, and music during some of history's darkest moments. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This one is tailor-made for literary-thriller fans, and the planned PR campaign and library-marketing promotions will help get the book into the right readers' hands.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2015

        Gerritsen's stand-alone novel (after Last To Die) may surprise the fans of her popular "Rizzoli and Isles" series. This intriguing literary thriller seesaws between the past and present in a world very different from that inhabited by Gerritsen's usual characters. After performing abroad, professional violinist Julia Ansdell finds an enigmatic piece of music tucked into an old book in a dusty antique shop in Rome. When she arrives home and plays the haunting waltz, it sets off a succession of disturbing events involving her young daughter, Lily. Concerned with Lily's mental state and seeking to prove her own sanity, Julia returns to Italy to investigate the origins of the tune. In alternating chapters, the tale of Lorenzo Todesc, a Jewish violinist living in Venice in the days immediately prior to World War II, unfolds. He pursues his musical career, ignoring the looming threat to all he holds dear. VERDICT The historical details and subtle twists take this nicely paced novel out of the realm of an ordinary thriller. The pages fly by as the fates of Julia and Lorenzo are revealed. This might appeal to readers who enjoyed Geraldine Brooks's People of the Book. [See Prepub Alert, 8/20/15.]--Terry Lucas, Rogers Memorial Lib., Southampton, NY

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 15, 2015

        When violinist Julia Ansdell first plays the moody minor-key, arpeggio-laced "Incendio Waltz," she blacks out--and awakens to find her young daughter involved in an act of violence. That sends Julia scurrying to speak with the sheet music's previous owner in Venice, where she uncovers a horrific secret that dates back to the Holocaust. A stand-alone from the author of the mega-best-selling "Rizzoli & Isles" series.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LOS ANGELES TIMES AND SUSPENSE MAGAZINE A gripping standalone thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of the Rizzoli & Isles series

In a shadowy antiques shop in Rome, violinist Julia Ansdell happens upon a curious piece of music--the Incendio waltz--and is immediately entranced by its unusual composition. Full of passion, torment, and chilling beauty, and seemingly unknown to the world, the waltz, its mournful minor key, its feverish arpeggios, appear to dance with a strange life of their own. Julia is determined to master the complex work and make its melody heard.

Back home in Boston, from the moment Julia's bow moves across the strings, drawing the waltz's fiery notes into the air, something strange is stirred--and Julia's world comes under threat. The music has a terrifying and inexplicable effect on her young daughter, who seems violently...
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