'The Sleeping Nymph': a work of art of magnetic beauty, painted by a young partisan fighter during the last days of the Second World War. A painting carrying a shocking secret hidden in the red pigment on the canvas, made with the blood of a human heart. But whose heart? There is no body, no confession. Only that faint trace of blood. And that's what leads commissioner Teresa Battaglia - herself hiding an unspeakable truth - to the Resia Valley, in the north eastern part of Italy: a perfect genetic enclave protected for centuries from the outside world. The valley and the portrait are the only clues for a murder that occurred more than 70 years before. A red thread leading to the shadow of someone hell-bent on protecting a sacred secret.
One of the best parts of Flowers Over the Inferno is the older, gruff superintendent Teresa Battaglia. She is out of shape, diabetic and busy fighting the early stages of Alzheimer's disease - on top of handling a complex case. We sympathise with Battaglia quite naturally, and it's nice to see a cop who isn't slim and sexy chasing after serial killers. * NPR * Exhilarating... Teresa Battaglia, who must deal with casual and constant sexism in her position of authority, is an unforgettable character readers will want to see a lot more of. * Publishers Weekly (starred review) * Teresa Battaglia is set to give Tyneside's Vera a run for her money. * Lancashire Post * Creepy and evocative... but what gives this novel particular appeal is the sixty-something central character, whose abrasive manner hides a warm heart. * Guardian * PRAISE FOR FLOWERS OVER THE INFERNO Superintendent Teresa Battaglia, a criminal profile expert, is in her sixties, overweight, lonely, diabetic, full of the ailments of ageing - and delightful. It's rare that such a character enters crime fiction for the first time, and with such gripping impact. * Marcel Berlins, The Times (Crime Book of the Month) *