Thrilled to be today’s stop on the blog tour for Accused by Mark Toscano!
Coming at you today with a guest post from Mark Toscano himself and my review for Accused. But first, let’s take a look at the synopsis from Goodreads:
A crime reporter. A strange murder. An ex-convict with a dark secret…
Onofrio Palillo receives compensation many years after wrongful imprisonment for murder. Whilst trying to arrange an interview, Fabrizio Corsaro, a crime reporter, finds Palillo dead at his home. Investigations reveal incriminating evidence, which lead detectives to arrest Fabrizio himself for the murder. It’s left to his brother Roberto, a criminal lawyer, to save Fabrizo from the nightmare into which his life has suddenly been plunged. With the help of deputy police prefect Domenico Fisichella, Roberto delves into Palillo’s mysterious past. They discover an old secret that puts them on the trail of the most powerful man in Sicily, Giorgio Moncada. A complex story, full of mystery and memorable characters.
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Keep reading for a Guest Post by Mark Toscano and my review of Accused!
Clues and Reviews: A Guest Post by Mark Toscano
I have been asked to write something about my novel Accused for Clues and Reviews. I wondered a little about what to write, whilst here out of the window the snow is falling – so unusual for Sicily. At last, I thought that the best thing to do was indeed to give some clues and reviews.
Accused is a thriller set in Sicily in the modern day. It’s a tale of brotherhood. The two main characters are Roberto and Fabrizio Corsaro, two brothers and the two narrators of the story.
There’s a murder in the heart of the ancient streets of Palermo.
There are also shadows of the mafia and of a dark secret that has been kept hidden for decades.
There is an alcoholic but honest policeman, an innocent man wrongfully imprisoned and a powerful and rich man about to become the governor of Sicily.
And then there’s Sicily itself. Its colours, its flavours, its light. The streets of Palermo with their noise and their delicious street food, but also the amazing white baroque of Syracuse seen on the jacket of the book, and the peaceful and charming countryside near Ragusa. Many people in Britain may know these places from the stories of inspector Montalbano.
These are the main clues of a mystery that goes back in time to investigate a terrible secret. The topic of justice, or better, injustice, has always attracted me. Punishment without crime: something that unfortunately can happen in real life. I wrote about it in this novel without trying to lose the sense of humour that is one of the main features in a Cosaro brothers’ story. It was very nice for me to find it perfectly in shape in this brilliant English translation.
I’ll share with you something written by a reader on Amazon. “Great read! Throughout this clever mystery are references to film and music that humorously define the characters but the author contrasts this with a noir atmosphere keeping the reader intrigued to the end. I really could not put this one down”.
Well, believe me, those are the kind of lines that make an author’s day… Grazie.
About Mark Toscano
Mark Toscano is a journalist and author. He has worked for the radio, television, and agencies, and writes on politics for national newspapers in Italy.
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Fabrizio Corsaro, a journalist, is set to obtain the interview of his career with Mr. Palillo, a man who had spent years in prison wrongfully. Upon arrival, he finds his subject murdered. With no other leads and some incriminating evidence, Fabrizio is arrested for the murder and detained. His brother, Roberto- a criminal lawyer, dives into the case to try and help release his brother from prison and clear the family name. As Fabrizio fights to navigate the prison system, his brother begins discovering secrets about Mr. Palillo that sends him on the trail of the most powerful man in Sicily.
Accused by Mark Toscano is a mystery thriller filled with a complex story and strong, complicated characters.
The novel is narrated through three separate sections (Crime, Punishment, and Truth) and in the alternating voices of each brother. I liked this simplistic narrative style; each section delves into exactly how it appears. The first discusses the crime and how Fabrizio is accused, the second discusses the imprisonment and the search for answers and the last section is where the truth comes to light. There are truly no twists to this story; it is very black and white. I feel like maybe some complexity could have been lost in translation.
My favourite part of this novel was its setting; the story takes place in Italy. This atmosphere is perfect. Toscano takes the time to build regional references, language and refers to Italian pop culture. It really sets the scene and helped me escape into this story.
Overall, I found this to be a pleasant, but straightforward, mystery. I gave it 3/5 stars on Goodreads.
Thanks to Aria Publishing, Mark Toscano and Netgalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.
Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour for Accused!