A FLORENTINE DEATH, by Michele Giuttari

A best-seller in Italy, translated from the Italian. A police procedural from the former head of Florence, Italy's police force (and then advisor on the Mafia to the Italian government). Giuttari knows his procedures, and the basic story line is interesting. As written, however, it has a fair number of faults which make reading tedious at times. The protagonist, Squadra Mobile leader Michelle Ferrara, is targeted by a murderer who sends taunting messages; Ferrara discovers he is also sending messages through homosexual murder victims. No more spoilers; try this first novel for a flavor of Florence and an insider's look at how Italian police work. Hopefully, the information dumps the author employs will become a thing of the past in the next novels. A 3.