Release Date: November 20, 2018
Genre: Adult Fiction / Crime Fiction / Mystery / Thriller
Marzio Santoni left behind the brutal crimes of the big city long ago.
Valdiluce is a quiet ski resort, where all he needs is the peace, quiet and his trusty vespa.
At first glance, the town inhabitants are as perfect as their postcard scenery. But under the surface, nothing is as it seems…
So when four women are discovered dead, seemingly by their own hand, Marzio can sense that something isn’t right. Fighting against his police chief, his own emotions and the evidence stacked against him, Marzio is caught up in a race against time to discover what truly happened.
Gripping, shocking and packed with a punch that will leave you reeling long after the last page.
I don’t know if it’s because of the translation or what (I always seem to think it is the translator), but Blood in the Snow by Franco Marks was very different than what I thought it was going to be, and at times a bit confusing.
What it’s about: Inspector Marzio Santoni (AKA White Wolf) is the local public safety officer at a quiet ski resort town called Valdiluce; a job he does while riding around on his Vespa. Four women are on holiday there (one of them being White Wolf’s new lover) when all four ladies are found dead in their room the day they are supposed to leave. Both the mayor and police boss put pressure on White Wolf saying the case needs to be ruled either an accident or suicide, but it needs to go away (and quick) so as to not hurt the tourist traffic of the small town. This is a problem though because White Wolf doesn’t think this was an accident OR suicide, he thinks it was murder…
One thing that was confusing was the author constantly switches between calling our main character White Wolf and his real name, Marzio Santoni. This oftentimes will even happen in the same paragraph and I found myself forgetting both names were his. Also, for some reason the author decided to make the police boss’ name Soprani which I also kept getting confused with our main character White Wolf / Santoni.
There is some gritty content about sex in the novel that I wasn’t really expecting, and it wasn’t just sex scenes, although bits of a few are alluded to. Marks’ descriptions are very matter-of-fact, and this definitely isn’t a book with flowery language. We follow along with the mystery of how the women died (murder/suicide/accident) while we are also getting to know White Wolf, and this book is definitely a bit of a character study.
Despite the confusing parts, Blood in the Snow reads very quickly and I basically finished it in a day. I think the ending was a bit abrupt and the big reveal not as shocking as it could have been because of the way the book is written. Under normal circumstances I may have been shocked, but instead I just felt a little disappointed / grossed out.
Final Thought: This is a super gritty, matter-of-fact novel about the suspected murder of four women, but the focus is not just on the deaths. If you are looking for a slow-burn mystery and you don’t mind the sexual parts, this would be worth checking out. It wasn’t really for me, but I definitely think it has potential for people to love it. This author might need a different translator though for most of us to really understand it.
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
About the author
Franco Marks is a writer and television director who lives and works in Rome. He has written the novels La neve rossa, Il visionario (shortlisted for the 2003 Strega Prize), Festa al blu di Prussia (winner of the Procida Isola di Arturo – Elsa Morante Prize 2005), Il profumo della neve (shortlisted for the 2007 Strega Prize), Lo show della farfalla(shortlisted for the 2010 Viareggio-Repaci Prize), Il suicidio perfetto, La mossa del cartomante, Tre cadaveri sotto la neve, Lo strano caso dell’orso ucciso nel bosco, Delitto con inganno and Giallo di mezzanotte. His books have been translated in several countries.
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