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by Joseph Kanon

Category: Fiction / Historical
415 pages; ISBN: 080507886X

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Joseph Kanon
Holt, May 2005, $26.00, 415 pp.
ISBN: 080507886X

By 1946 still horrified by what he has seen, former U.S. Army war crimes investigator Adam Miller travels to Venice to see his widowed mother Grace. To his surprise the city is like a beautiful oasis in war ravaged Europe unscathed by the horrors that Adam has seen especially in Germany.

Adam meets Italian Jew Claudia Grassini at a party. They fall in love and begin an affair. However, Claudia spent time in the Fossoli concentration camp, leaving her feeling guilty that she lived while so many others died. While Adam courts Claudia, Grace is seeing a pre war lover aristocratic Dr. Gianni Mangion. Adam does not trust Gianni sensing something sinister perhaps involving the Fascist years. He begins investigating his mother’s lover and soon murders occur ultimately leading to the good soldier Adam choosing between justice and the law with either selection further devastating his already weakened inner soul.

ALIBI is a terrific historical tale that uses war crimes, a murder mystery, and a romance to tell the tale of Post WWII Venice. The story line is fast-paced and action packed never slowing down for a moment. However what makes this thriller so chilling and thrilling is the deep cast. Adam, Grace, Claudia, and Gianni, supported by the grand city and residents trying to heal, are fully developed characters that bring home the era. The audience receives a fantastic novel that showcases Joseph Kanon’s skills.

Harriet Klausner


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