The Last Enemy
By Grace Brophy
Soho Crime, Hardcover, 9781569474594, 320pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 2007
List Price: $23.00*
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Rita grew up in Brooklyn, the only child of a narcissistic Italian mother and the GI she married at the end of World War II. After her mother’s death, she quits her teaching job and descends upon her poor but aristocratic relatives, the Count and Countess Casati, in Assisi. It takes a while before they realize, to their chagrin, that Rita has come to stay. When the family assembles to watch the penitentes procession in the town square during Easter Week, a Casati tradition, Rita does not join them as planned. Her corpse is later found in the family mausoleum.
Alessandro Cenni, a commissario in the State Police of Umbria, and a handsome bachelor whose twin brother is about to become a bishop, must penetrate the secrets of the Casati family and their circle if he is to discover who killed Rita and why. But he is blocked by their powerful right-wing connections, and by a superior who prefers to arrest a scapegoat rather than risk political suicide. Aided by a loyal staff in his quest for that rarity—justice—he still must acknowledge that no one can defeat the last enemy, death itself.
Grace Brophy grew up in Queens, New York. She now divides her time between New York and Terni, a village in Umbria, where she lives with her husband, a Uruguayan artist. This is the first in the Commissario Cenni series of investigations set in Italy.