Playing with Fire

  • by Tess Gerritsen
  • Narrated by Julia Whelan, Will Damron
  • 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In a masterful standalone thriller by New York Times bestselling author of the Rizzoli&Isles series, Tess Gerritsen, a mother is haunted by a very old piece of music she finds in a strange antique shop in Rome.
The first time violinist Julia Ansdell picked up the "Incendio Waltz" in a darkened antique shop in Rome, she knew it was a strikingly unusual composition. The minor key and complex feverish arpeggios have a life of their own. But when she plays the piece, Julia blacks out and awakens to find her small daughter implicated in acts of surprising violence. When she travels to Venice to find the previous owner of the music, she uncovers a heart-stoppingly dark secret that not only dates back to the horrors of the Holocaust, but also directly involves a dangerously powerful family who would stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Somewhat off-key

This is the second book in a row I’ve read that has dual story lines whose tone and atmosphere clash with each other as if written by separate authors. In this case, a current day story focuses on a haunting piece of music that appears to have near magical sway over some who hear it, leading to unexplained violent acts. Violinist Julia’s attempts to find the music’s secrets cause those closest to her to suspect her of being insane. The behavior of the principal players did not seem genuine, especially Julia’s husband, and the plot devices that tried to rationalize the behavior just muddied up the story.

The second story line takes us to WWII Italy and the composer of the music. His story is familiar to anyone who has read any Holocaust stories. It is moving as all such stories are moving, but there is nothing here to make this story unique.

Forcing these two threads together was a stretch that never really made a convincing connection. The narration was just ok. Julia Whelan was unfortunately horrible at character voices, especially any male voice. Will Damron was better, but his female voices were also lacking, though not as egregious as his female counterpart. I’ll give this a 3 since I was able to finish it and the ending was satisfactory. What probably lifted this up the most was the inclusion of musical interludes and at the end a full performance of the music in the story – I wish I knew who wrote it because it really is lovely.
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- Janice "Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories."

Playing With Fire (Can be hard for some to handle)

Now this is something everyone should read!! What an amazing, true and horrible ( because humanity can be so cruel) adventure!! Couldn't put this one down, couldn't stop listening!!
I couldn't figure out how Tess Gerritsen would meld the main story into the back story OR was it the back story (the main story) into the present !!
I don't usually like music or other sounds in the narration, but this was done very, very well!! Loved the music at the end!!
Ironic that my son is also going to New England Conservatory of Music (Bass)
Narration was excellent!
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- "atpprohtl@socal.rr.com"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-27-2015
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio