Sleuthing in Italy – Review of “Foreign Deceit” by Jeff Carson

Gritty and Riveting

Most of the time Sergeant David Wolf likes his job in Rocky Points Colorado but this has been the proverbial week from hell and being told his only brother committed suicide has nearly brought him to his knees. Despite the impending town council meeting to decide who’ll be the next sheriff, the job he’s been working towards since he got out of the army, David is on a flight to Italy to find out who killed his brother because he knows without a doubt that he would never have taken his own life.

But Wolf hadn’t expected to be stonewalled by the Caribinieri in northern Italy and the language barrier further complicates an already difficult situation. Getting cooperation from his Italian counterparts requires some deep digging for tact and diplomacy in dealing with their lack of urgency, which is exacerbated by their conclusion of suicide without any investigation or follow up. Thankfully he gets assistance from a young female member of the Caribinieri who speaks both languages. But he has only two days to get to the truth of what happened to his brother and the Italian authorities don’t care a whit for his time constraints. They will not be rushed just to accommodate the pushy “American cowboy”.

“Foreign Deceit” is my first encounter with Jeff Carson’s work and I’ve already started on Book two “The Silversmith”. The protagonist David Wolf is the kind of man you’d want to have as a friend or neighbor; honest and dependable with an abiding sense of duty and responsibility who doesn’t always get it right, but he never quits trying. The complex plot is gritty and occasionally gut-wrenching and it kept me reading all day long. This hit all the right notes for me, exactly what I look for in a good thriller.

Carson’s character portrayals of the bad guys are somewhat stereotypical but I suppose that’s a minor flaw in the total scheme of things. However his descriptions of the mountainous areas in Colorado are vibrant and enticing and made me wish I could be there to inhale the fresh pine scent and see the valley floor carpeted with wildflowers. Four stars.

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