Author: Tom Trott
Publishing date: May 6th 2022
Category: Espionage, Thriller,
When Cain retired from the CIA, he moved to Florence, Italy to get away from his past.
He’s had nine years to enjoy fine wine, good food, and the Tuscan countryside.
But now his old boss has tracked him down, and he needs Cain to do one last job.
What starts as a simple trade entangles Cain in a web of secrets involving the mafia, an NSA whistleblower, and his own past.
Opening with an action packed prologue, The Florentine focuses on Cain, an American living in Florence and enjoying his retirement. That is until he gets a phone call from his old friend and boss from his days in the CIA, Jo, offering him ‘one last job’ as a courier. All he had to do was drive to a house in the country, enjoy a nice dinner with the family who lived there and make the exchange. Simple. Not leaving him much choice, Cain reluctantly agrees.
Like a sudden shower on a clear day, his past had returned, and although the rain had stopped for now, there were dark clouds dotting the horizon. And he didn’t like it. He didn’t like it at all.
As it happens Cain’s instincts were spot on. From then on he is drawn inexorably into a complex and confusing situation of deceit, secrets and lies, trying to keep one step ahead of those who obviously want him dead. Cain has lots of questions but no answers as to what’s going on, but he’s aided in no small way by Dolly Lightfoot, ex NSA analyst turned whistleblower.
Initially Cain is an enigmatic figure, it was difficult to decide which side of the fence he was on. However, as the story progresses, more of his character slowly emerges, giving an excellent take on his personality, and turning him into a protagonist that the reader can root for. I was also drawn to Inspector Baroffio of the Polizia di Stato, who put me a little in mind of Peter Falk’s Columbo — an underestimated, unassuming but very shrewd character who is also an excellent detective.
Recommended for those who enjoy easy to read, well written, fast paced, espionage/spy thrillers, full of action and intrigue, laced with tension and suspense, with a very satisfactory ending. A contemporary thriller with undertones of the classic about it. The story is told seamlessly from the perspectives of different characters and the settings are imagined extremely well.
I chose to read and review The Florentine based on a digital ARC kindly supplied by the author.
Tom Trott is an author, film nerd, and proverbial Brighton rock. He lives in Brighton, UK, with his wife and their daughter. He wrote a short comedy play that was performed at the Theatre Royal Brighton in May 2014 as part of the Brighton Festival, a television pilot for the local Brighton channel, and won the Empire Award (thriller category) in the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest.
He published his first novel, You Can’t Make Old Friends, in 2016. Since then he has written four more books, three of which have topped the free books charts on Amazon UK and US. He writes film reviews and features for Frame Rated.
His inspirations as a writer come from a diverse range of storytellers including Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Joel & Ethan Coen, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Ira Levin, Quentin Tarantino, and many more books and films beside.
You can find out more on the author’s website