Kill the Father: A Novel by Sandrone Dazieri
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
**Thank you so much to Scribner for providing me a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley for the purposes of review**
Let’s put our cards out on the table: I’m really picky when it comes to thrillers. It’s the one genre that I love in theory, but not often in execution. I don’t know exactly what any particular thriller must have in terms of a je ne sais quoi that gets me to both read and enjoy it, but the list of thrillers I particularly enjoy is surprisingly short compared to other genres.
Which is why I feel compelled to crow this novel’s high quality from rooftops like some kind of town crier of yore.
Translated into English from the original Italian, Dazieri’s Kill the Father is a tense, richly-layered thriller with two protagonists that just carve my heart out repeatedly with a spoon — it’s dull, it hurts more — all while dealing with the demons, internal and external, that haunt them and the citizens of Italy. Both Colomba and Dante are two people dealing with ghastly, horrific past traumas, and yet together these two “broken” people make one of the best investigative teams I’ve ever read. They support each other while also knowing when to push and challenge the other; they’re both incredibly sharp with keen detective minds, but also have their own little idiosyncrasies that don’t always gel with others; and, what I think is most important, they don’t always defeat their traumas.
PTSD isn’t uncommon in characters, especially in thrillers, but I do admit that I often find it frustrating when it’s used as a seemingly convenient device to make a character seem vulnerable, yet never plays a greater role in the plot. The trauma of Colomba and Dante’s respective pasts constantly haunts in a painful, visceral way — sometimes it even gets in the way during important situations. The two are constantly taking both their own and each other’s internal temperatures, knowing that, at any time, something could set the either off into a full-blown panic attack.
The plot in which Colomba and Dante find themselves embroiled is best described as brilliant spider’s web, that constantly changes direction and adds a new thread to its weave. There’s just enough conspiracy theorist element to keep it on the side of fun, but there’s no denying that it’s a dark and sometimes terrifying case to follow. It puts you on high alert and is perfectly content to let you wallow in a tense little ball as it propels you through its mystery.
My only question is: when am I getting the next book?