Hi! I have always loved to read and once I start a book that I enjoy, I find it absolutely impossible to put it down. Because I have not been “going out” to protect myself and my high risk clients from COVID, I have had ample free time to read and have been finishing books left and right. The most recent? Probably one of the most interesting, disturbing books I’ve read in ages: Flowers Over The Inferno by Ilaria Tuti and translated from the Italian by Ekin Oklap.
Before we begin discussing Flowers Over The Inferno without any spoilers, it is important that a trigger warning be put in place. This book is centered around the hunt for a serial killer who attacks with twisted savagery. There is also human experimentation in this book and, if you read the Author’s Note at the end, you will find that what she spoke of was an actual experiment performed in 1945.
Now, if I haven’t scared you off yet, let’s get into it:
Flowers Over The Inferno takes place in the picaresque village of Traveni. Surrounded by thick forests and the Italian Alps, Traveni looks like something straight out of a fairy tale. The dark secrets that linger there, however, are anything but. And, once a horribly mutilated body is found in the forest these secrets that have long since been attempted to be forgotten begin to bubble to the surface.
As you can see, the cover of this book says “A Teresa Battaglia Novel”. Who is Teresa Battaglia you might ask? An aging superintendent in the Italian police force with an extensive background in criminal profiling. Crotchety, sarcastic, and sensitive when she wants to be, Teresa leads the male dominated team and is, for the most part, highly respected. She is now in charge of leading this new case and time is of the essence because she knows this killer will strike again soon.
And strike, he did. Again and again with each act seemingly more brutal than the next. In a town where everyone knows everyone, surely someone knows something. However, with a “holier than thou” herd mentality of the villagers, who would want to admit such a damning secret? It is only when the gruesome past of Traveni is revealed that the killer’s identity becomes apparent and we learn that not everyone/everything is how it seems.
Ilaria Tuti’s Flowers Over The Inferno was easily one of the best books I’ve read in a while because it was so unlike anything I’ve read before. The Italian style of writing is vastly different and it felt like every description in the book was milked to the point that I could picture it perfectly in my head. The details and imagery that Tuti conjures makes the situation all the more desperate to the point that you feel like you are on the hunt with Teresa.
Despite disturbing subject matter, this book resonated with me deeply. It put into perspective all of the ways that people, even the villain, can be victims and I could feel the deep empathy that Teresa felt for all of those she was trying to help. Every attack felt like a blow to the gut but the deep seeded trauma that the killer suffered felt just the same.
Flowers Over The Inferno reads like a battle between good and evil and it is up to Teresa and her team to close the dark secrets of Traveni forever. Will the police force come out victorious or will darkness permanently be cast over the town? Read Flowers Over The Inferno and find out!
If you are looking for a gripping page turner, then Flowers Over The Inferno is right for you and I reward it the prestigious ten out of ten stars. The characters were all so unique and the story line was like nothing I have ever read before and even delved into the supernatural at times. All I know is, you won’t be able to put it down if you can stomach it and I am hoping for another Teresa Battaglia novel ASAP!
What are you currently reading? Do you have a favorite literary character? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah