From Martin Cruz Smith, “a master of the international thriller” (The New York Times), a suspenseful World War II love story set against the beauty, mystery, and danger of occupied Venice.
Venice, 1945. The war may be waning, but the city known as La Serenissima is still occupied and the people of Italy fear the power of the Third Reich. One night, under a canopy of stars, a fisherman named Cenzo comes across a young woman’s body floating in the lagoon and soon discovers that she is still alive and in trouble.
Born to a wealthy Jewish family, Giulia is on the run from the Wehrmacht. Cenzo chooses to protect Giulia rather than hand her over to the Nazis. This act of kindness leads them into the world of Partisans, random executions, the arts of forgery and high explosives, Mussolini’s broken promises, the black market and gold, and, everywhere, the enigmatic maze of the Venice Lagoon.
With Martin Cruz Smith’s trademark suspense, action, and breathtaking romance during World War II Italy, The Girl from Venice is “a gripping evocation of a beautiful nation and of two people, trapped in the lunacy of war and the bravery it can inspire” (The Seattle Times).
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We love reading Martin Cruz Smith’s Russia-set novels like Gorky Park, and this masterful romantic thriller only makes us bigger fans. It’s 1945 and World War II is grinding to an end, but when fisherman Cenzo fishes Giulia, a stunning Jewish woman, out of the Venetian lagoon, he’s well aware that the Nazis and the Italian fascists still pose a deadly threat. To save the young beauty and himself, Cenzo must work with his estranged film-star brother, Giorgio. Cruz Smith immerses us in the vivid and memorable sights and sounds of war-torn Northern Italy. Ripped from his beloved Venice, our rugged hero is a true fish out of water, but he quickly learns a new set of skills in his dealings with the increasingly desperate occupying Germans. As romantic as it is exciting, The Girl from Venice is a book we never knew Martin Cruz Smith had in him.
In this refreshing departure from Smith's popular international thrillers, the 15th novel from this two-time Hammett Award winner (Gorky Park) is a clever, well-crafted, and exciting blend of WWII romance, suspense, and intrigue. Set in Nazi-occupied Venice, Italy, in 1945, just weeks before Germany's surrender to the Allies, Cenzo the fisherman finds a young woman floating in the lagoon. He rescues her and kills a German officer to protect her. Eighteen-year-old Giulia is the sole surviving daughter of a wealthy Jewish family, now sought by the Germans, Fascists, and partisans because she can identify the traitor who betrayed her family. Cenzo is a simple fisherman, a veteran of Mussolini's war in Ethiopia, and wants nothing to do with this war. He feels obligated to help Giulia escape her pursuers but must rely on people he cannot trust, especially his older brother, Giorgio, a handsome Italian movie star and Fascist collaborator, as well as a Nazi colonel with a curious interest in Giulia's family. As Cenzo and Giulia wind their way through a maze of deceit, danger, and betrayal, they fall in love amid the turmoil of German retreat, Fascist brutality, and partisan reprisal. Capture, escape, a hoard of stolen gold, a forger, and a Swiss movie producer add action and passion to the novel's unexpected plot twists, and its most satisfying conclusion.