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Summary

Shortlisted for the 2021 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

City of Vengeance is an explosive debut novel in an historical thriller series by D. V. Bishop, set in Renaissance Florence.

Florence. Winter, 1536. A prominent Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth.

Cesare Aldo, a former soldier and now an officer of the Renaissance city’s most feared criminal court, is given four days to solve the murder: catch the killer before the feast of Epiphany - or suffer the consequences.

During his investigations, Aldo uncovers a plot to overthrow the volatile ruler of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici. If the duke falls, it will endanger the whole city. But a rival officer of the court is determined to expose details about Aldo’s private life that could lead to his ruin. Can Aldo stop the conspiracy before anyone else dies, or will his own secrets destroy him first?

Continue the historical series with The Darkest Sin.

©2020 D. V. Bishop (P)2020 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd

Critic reviews

"A first-class historical thriller...Bishop’s spirited and richly detailed story is a tour-de-force." (David Baldacci)

"Richly atmospheric...transports you to another time and place." (Ambrose Parry, author of The Way of All Flesh)

"An impressive and immersive debut set in a beautifully realized 16th-century Florence." (Antonia Hodgson)

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What listeners say about City of Vengeance

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  • Overall
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Great start to new series

It’s always great to discover a new series at its start and this one set in sixteenth century Florence is a well written historical mystery that incorporates real events with fictional ones

Aldo is a fascinating character

5 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyable

Renaissance shenanigans in Florence. I really enjoyed this book which weaves stories of different kinds of love, death and loyalty around city politics and some very squelchy murder. So good to see different kinds of LGBTQI+ lives represented and not just as a plot device. Hopefully there are more to come

2 people found this helpful

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Florentine LGBQT!

Immersive plot but main protagonist something of a lone ranger. Didn't like the sprinkling of the occasional Italian word in English narrative and dialogue - inauthentic. However the sights and smells of De Medici Florence are vivid.

1 person found this helpful

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Immersive and engaging. Love this book!

I loved this book! I was a bit hesitant at first as I am not normally a crime novel fan but I do love a bit of historical fiction and the time period and location were so well established that I found it incredibly immersive. There has clearly been a great deal of research gone into this novel and it shows. There is great attention to detail when it comes to architecture, atmosphere and semiotics. Also the use of Italian throughout helps to set the scene nicely. It’s also been used very cleverly as someone, like myself, who doesn’t speak Italian can still see what is said and understand what is going on purely from the context given. I have now added a wonderful plethora of filthy, Italian, onomatopoeic words to my repertoire! The character development is well established and at no point feels rushed which is a pet hate I have with some novels. Strocchi is definitely my favourite! I particularly love D.V.Bishop’s choice to explore the role of gender and sexual inequality in the time period. It adds subtext and another dynamic to all of the character interactions.

The narrator was very engaging and dealt with the Italian pronunciation incredibly well.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this novel and can’t wait for next instalment!

1 person found this helpful

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Great debut for historical detective

I was quickly caught up in the story and it never let go. The characters were believable - both the likeable ones and the really repulsive ones. The historical setting and details were obviously very well researched, but never got in the way of the cracking plot. The narrator was great, with excellent Italian pronunciation for names and phrases. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

1 person found this helpful

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Twists and turns

The cases of two murders wind through the plot, the research is immaculate, the characters developed.
Ceasere Aldo is a unique detective who we first meet when an assassination attempt on a Florentine moneylender goes horribly wrong. The plot and various characters involved develop all through the novel. Loved it.

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Exceptional

What a debut! I’m so glad this is a series. I cannot wait to revisit Aldo and Florence. Fantastic writing, wonderful plot twists, great characters… I couldn’t get enough. Loved everything about this book. Great narration, too!

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Let down by the narration

I liked the plot of this book. I would recommend it as a holiday read , but a read rather than a listen.

I think more time should have been spent on the narration. Its a very dramatic plot and there was little sense of tension or pace and so I wasn’t really drawn in.
Crucially the female characters were poorly done. Particularly those from the lower social classes. They just sounded like Brian’s mum in Life of Brian. This just killed it for me.