Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Devil in Music by Kate Ross

I held off reading The Devil in Music for as long as I could solely because it's the last book in the Julian Kestrel series and I knew I'd be heartbroken once it was over.

And you know what, I was right.

The final book in this series reveals more about Julian Kestrel and his life than the three previous books, satisfying my need to know something of his past, but ultimately it leaves more questions unanswered than answered. Back in Italy, for the first time in years, Julian finds himself caught up in a murder case that has been unsolved for five years. A young singer--whom only a few people have ever seen--has been assigned the blame, but Julian disagrees. Turning over one stone after another in his search, more questions are raised than answered. It will take everything Julian has to figure out the truth and lay rest to the secrets he has raised.

There's a huge cast of characters, from the beautiful widow, the envious brother, the emasculated son and his wife, her lover, political rivals, the missing tenor, the missing tenor's blind teacher, two traveling Englishmen, and a secret political organization, enough secrets to host an opera, and an ending that I honestly did not see coming. Seriously, I fell for the path Ross laid--hook, line, and singer--and just didn't see it coming.

And now it's over and I'll never learn the truth of Julian's past. Never find out all of his secrets. Never find out if Phillipa, the precocious twelve-year-old from the first book, grows up and fulfills her vow to marry Julian. Never find out anything more.

Except now I can reread the books and pick up on all the little clues I missed the first time. Who knows, maybe there's more of Julian Kestrel for me to discover.

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