'Absolutely terrific' – Philip Gwynne Jones, author of the bestselling Nathan Sutherland series.
'D.V Bishop transports you to an utterly convincing 16th century Florence, where the best and worst of human nature constantly circle each other in this tense mystery' S. G. MacLean
Florence. Spring, 1537.
When Cesare Aldo investigates a report of intruders at a convent in the Renaissance city’s northern quarter, he enters a community divided by bitter rivalries and harbouring dark secrets.
His case becomes far more complicated when a man’s body is found deep inside the convent, stabbed more than two dozen times. Unthinkable as it seems, all the evidence suggests one of the nuns must be the killer.
Meanwhile, Constable Carlo Strocchi finds human remains pulled from the Arno that belong to an officer of the law missing since winter. The dead man had many enemies, but who would dare kill an official of the city’s most feared criminal court?
As Aldo and Strocchi close in on the truth, identifying the killers will prove more treacherous than either of them could ever have imagined . . .
The Darkest Sin is an atmospheric historical thriller by D. V. Bishop, set in Renaissance Florence and is the sequel to City of Vengeance.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 38 members
When City of Vengeance was first published here in Australia earlier this year, both the spectacular jacket and story line intrigued me. I have always adored the Shardlake novels by C J Sansom and was looking for something in a similar vein to read in between the long wait for the next in his series.
I was hooked from the first few pages. It is well-researched with characters that you become totally invested in. City of Vengeance introduces the reader to Florence in the 1500’s and the main character Cesare Aldo who is investigating the death of a money lender while in his charge. The Darkest Sin continues Cesare’s story and developing the characters around him as he becomes embroiled in the horrific death of a naked man found brutally stabbed in a convent. Meanwhile, one of the juniors in the criminal court for which he works is coming dangerously close to discovering a secret that Cesare has been trying to conceal since the revelations in book one.
The best historical crime/thrillers teach the reader something about the period they are set in. D V Bishop now sits with my favourites of C J Sansom, Ambrose Parry and Ken Follett.
Cesare Aldo is back, and as good as ever.
The first Aldo book, " City of Vengeance" introduced us to Cesare Aldo, former soldier and now member of 16th century Florence's police force, the Otto. We learned a little about him, but it left us with many questions.
Luckily the second book in the series "The Darkest Sin" picks up a little more than two months later and immediately lands us in a convent. Having been asked simply to investigates reports of intruders at the convent, he is soon immersed in a community divided by bitter rivalries and dark secrets, when a naked man is found murdered in the scriptorium.
At the same time newly married Constable Carlo Strocchi, finds evidence that former Otto officer, Cerchi has been murdered, and embarks on a mission to uncover the killer...
And so begins another race against time to uncover a murderer, right some wrongs, serve some justice, and settle some scores.
Author David Bishop has once again re-created the sights, smells and events of 16th century Florence perfectly. From the filth-ridden streets, to the scorching sun, from the poverty-stricken citizens to the rich and corrupt upper-class, every page comes alive with colour. We've got Medici's, self-serving merchants, evil matriarchs, oh, and nuns. Lots of nuns, with agendas, hidden secrets, and rivalries. Fans will be happy to know also that Aldo's relationship with a certain doctor is not over.
It's wonderful to learn more about Aldo's past, and we meet some key characters from his childhood, who may yet help shape his future. I was especially impressed with the journey taken by Strocchi, as he struggles with his conscience and his search for justice, when the answer to his questions leads to an unenviable choice.
I was fortunate to score a Netgalley ARC of the book, but rest assured I'll be first in the queue for another read of a proper copy when it arrives. Recommended for fans of SJ Parris, CJ Sansom and SG MacLean.
Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this arc. I thoroughly enjoyed the first in this series by DV Bishop and was very pleased to be able to review this one. Set mainly in Florence it gave more insight into the background of Cesare Aldo . As a fan of CJ Sansom and Ken Follett I have added this author to my list of favourites. This isn’t a stand alone book I feel. The reader would be best to read City of Vengeance first. A great series is developing
The second Cesare Aldo book and just as riveting. This book very much picks up where the previous book left off and this forms one of the story lines. As with the first book, the historical detail is excellent and the reader is wonderfully immersed in the political atmosphere of 16th century Florence. The inequalities and power struggles are intelligently portrayed. The plot is well planned with many twists and surprises.
The characters, both those continuing from the first book and the ones introduced in this one, are excellently drawn. Cesare Aldo, in particular, is an engagingly complex character. The story was a little slow to pick up speed but when it did, it was a thrilling read. Thoroughly enjoyable and I can't wait to read the next book in this series.
The Darkest Sin by D. V. Bishop is an excellent historical mystery that is the second book in the amazing Cesare Aldo series. This series is just so amazing!
I really loved the first book that introduced us to Cesare Aldo and the surroundings of 1530s Florence, Italy. This book starts off a couple months after the first book ends.
I really love the full, immersive experience of being enveloped into 16th century Florence. The culture, society, political intrigue, the dirt and grit, the beauty, and the complicated murders…
I enjoyed getting to know one of my favorite characters further in this book…Aldo. He is such a fascinating, complex, intricate, and addictive character and personality. He really is the star of this show. Reveals continued to take place while we follow along two different mysteries…one involving a convent (and oh the drama that takes place within a convent…) and also the mysteries involving fellow investigator, Constable Strocchi.
The dual murder/mysteries add a wonderfully delicious layer of complexity to the narrative, making it that much more addictive. I love the pacing, the plots, the suspense, the surprises, and the slow reveals that the author adds throughout. The character development and full cast is just spot on.
The author clearly has a talent in research and also in creating a story that really brings to life a time and location that has long been entered into our history books.
I just cannot wait until I find out what happens next.
Thank you NG and Pan Macmillan for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.
I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately (as of 12/22/21 no BB listing has been created and link will be updated when it is available) and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 3/3/22.
Cesare Aldo is ordered to investigate a murder but that isn't easy in 16th century Medicis Florence. A political tightrope has to be accommodated as well as the all powerful secretive Catholic Church.
A really good plot and sub plot unravel two murders by a skilful process of elimination. Aldo in particular is very thorough
This reminds me of Sansom ,but this is a unique writer who brings the sights and smells of Florence alive.
Can't wait for more of Aldo
This is the terrific follow up to the wonderful DV Bishop's The City of Vengeance, set in Renaissance Italy in the 16th century, that established the complicated and able Cesare Aldo, an officer of Ottodi Guardia e Bilia in Florence. This is a blend of fact and fiction, with the inclusion of the actual corrupt Medici Archbishop at the time, and the real conflicts and debates that occurred in convents, with nuns split between having a real life role in handing out alms to the poor and the needy, and those who believed they should be enclosed orders dedicated only to god, meditations and prayers. The important Ruggerio, a man with teflon qualities in avoiding being caught out in his misdeeds, exercises his influence in having Cesare sent to look into reports of intruders entering a convent.
Whilst there, Cesare thinks he sees his half sister Teresa, only to discover it is her 15 year old daughter, Isabella Goudi, being educated there, this has him turmoil as he was banished from his family home at 14, thrown out on to the streets when his father died. The convent is a hotbed of intrigue and rivalries, the Abess is a believer in good works, helping those in desperate need and abused women, the Prioress leads the dissenting voices that favour a closed order, and they have engaged in underhand actions that have led to the Church sending visitations to ensure that the nuns are not engaged in untoward activities. The convent finds its existence come under severe threat when a naked man is found dead on the premises, stabbed in what looks like a frenzy of rage, and the perpetrator can only be a nun. Aldo investigates whilst his diligent colleague, Constable Carlo Strocchi, focuses on the murder of a hated officer of the court, his body recovered from the Arno.
Bishop paints an atmospheric picture of Florence in this historical period, the vast inequalities to be found in Italian society, the social norms and expectations, for instance, with the position of women, and the power structures, the central role of the Catholic church, and the influence and privilege of the wealthy. We are provided insights into just how difficult the women as nuns found it to implement their own decisions in the convents, a practice that was stamped on by the religious hierarchy. This is a engaging and riveting story of twists and turns, with Aldo finding himself in danger on more than one front, and the conclusion has me highly anticipating the next in the series. I highly recommend this to those who love their historical mysteries and to crime fiction fans. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.