Publication Order of Commissario Alec Blume Books
|The Dogs of Rome||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Fatal Touch||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Namesake||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Memory Theater aka The Memory Key||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Bitter Remedy||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Cardinal Witness||(2017)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Commissario Alec Blume is the title character in the Commissario Alec Blume series of novels by British detective crime fiction author Conor Fitzgerald. Blume is an American expatriate that has been living in Rome for the last 22 years, ever since he moved there with his parents. Both of his parents were shot and killed in a bank robbery on the Via Cristoforo Colombo, leaving him the proverbial teenage loner in a strange city. When we first meet the character in the first novel of the series – The Dogs of Rome, he has joined the Italian police force from where he has gone on to become a competent Commissario in the Rome City Police. Now totally assimilated into his adopted country, Blume speaks Italian like a native, though his American heritage gives him a unique perspective in solving criminal mysteries. He employs his unique perspectives in navigating the criminal minefield of a city that is full if unscrupulous politicians and crooked cops. He has to rely on the intelligence, instinct, and cynicism he has honed over the years, yet remain unflinching if he is to do his job.
The novels were first published in English with the first novel in the series – The Dogs of Rome, achieving widespread popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. The novel was subsequently published in different language editions, including Dutch, Italian, and Portuguese among many other European languages. With the widespread popularity of the first novel, Conor Fitzgerald went on to publish five more books in the Commissario Alec Blume series with the last one – Bitter Remedy published in 2014. The popularity and critical acclaim that the novels received established Fitzgerald as a preeminent author in the detective crime fiction genre. As of late 2016, Fitzgerald asserted the sixth book in the series; Cardinal Witness was in the works.
Conor Fitzgerald has not cast Commissario Blume as the stereotypical sensitive or unfailingly strong hero that everyone likes to see. Blume is more of an antihero type of character who is always doing the wrong things, alienating colleagues and loved ones, and often acting unwisely if not impulsively. Nonetheless, he has a genuine compassion and love for people, though his obsessive sympathy towards human frailty is often an impediment to his work. He seems to have none of the sensitivity towards Caterina, his live in girlfriend and former colleague, and this threatens to destroy their relationship time and again. His determination to go against protocol by working his cases off the books brings him ever closer to losing his career and all that he has worked for. While always seeming to be on the brink of disaster, he has a knack for solving the most difficult of cases, and coming back stronger even though he always leaves chaos in his wake. Though most of the time he is nothing more than a train wreck, the unpredictability and flawed character is what makes him such a fascinating character that everyone wants to root for.
The Dogs of Rome
The first novel in the series begins with the sloppy murder of Arturo Clemente in his Rome apartment. While seemingly random and even amateurish, what makes the murder nothing but random, is the fact that Clemente is not an ordinary Roman citizen. Clemente is sleeping with Manuela Fusco the daughter of a ruthless mafia boss; he is a husband to a prominent politician; and is one of the leading lights in the campaign against dogfighting. Using his legendary instincts, Commissario Alec Blume has already fingered a suspect, but immediately faces resistance from the Fusco crime syndicate and powerful forces in the Senate. As he unearths more details with regard to the case and closes in on blowing it wide open, he realizes that powerful people are watching him. As it stands, finding who killed Clemente might be the least of his worries. Unsure of his colleague’s loyalty, sleep deprived, and angry, his worst traits are beginning to surface making him lose control over the investigation. Meanwhile the mafia is actively tying up loose ends and spreading terror in the city. With the killer yet to be apprehended, Blume’s investigation looks certain to cost more innocent lives, if he cannot solve it soon enough.
The Fatal Touch
Alec Blume is back to his best in the second installment of the Commissario Alec Blume series. Teaming up with his live in girlfriend and former colleague Caterina, Blume is the lead detective in a death on the Piazza DeRenzi that the police believe is related to a recent spate of violent robberies. While the Carabinieri military police are involved in the investigation, Blume has never cared much for authority over the years. He proceeds to conduct the investigation, the only way he knows how – on his own. As soon as his investigation reveals that the victim used to be a talented art forger, hidden treasures and enemies begin coming out of the woodwork. He soon finds that the higher ups in the Italian police are anxious at him solving the murder mystery and will do anything to stop him.
When his supervising officer a notoriously corrupt and high-ranking Carabinieri officer, Colonel Farinelli confiscates everything from the forger’s house, Blume’s suspicions immediately shift to him. Relying on his intuitions and calling up old favors, Blume throws all caution into the wind, risking his life, his job, and anyone who works with him. Having beaten Farinelli to the house and now armed with a number of notebooks and some paintings and ingredients that the forger had used before his death, he sets out to unravel the mystery. The notebooks reveal that the Colonel is a major player in the corrupt dealings in art theft and forgery. Knowing how ruthless Farinelli can get in the face of such career ending revelations coming out, Commissario Alec Blume is well aware that he is treading on the knife-edge by challenging such a powerful superior. His actions in continuing to pursue a person with such powerful connections in the police and criminal underworld could be the end of not only his career but also his life.Book Series In Order » Characters » Commissario Alec Blume