Book review: The Partisan Heart

By Gordon Kerr
Published by Muswell Press 

Synopsis: The death of his wife has left Michael Keats bereft, the subsequent discovery of her adultery devastates him. Michael resolves to discover the identity of her lover. That journey leads him to northern Italy where he becomes embroiled in a story of passion and treachery amongst the Partisans and villagers during the darkest days of World War II. As Michael gets closer to the truth he realizes that some secrets should never be told.

How did this book end up in my hands? I read this book ahead of its publication date thanks to a serialisation via The Pigeonhole app. I also participated in the blog tour here.

Was it a page-turner? There were some strands of the narrative that interested me more than others but, all in all, I would definitely say that the words of this book were like cherries and I couldn’t stop reading until I had reached the end of each instalment in one sitting.

Did the book meet my expectations? I have enjoyed this novel and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. Both storylines are gripping and intriguing and I was particularly drawn to the strand of narrative set during WWII and the way the present and the past come together is executed very skilfully! However, I might also be slightly biased given my emotional attachment both towards the Italian locations that the novel is set in (the Valtellina mountains and the area around Lake Como) and the subject of the partisan movement, to which three of my grandparents belonged. 

Three words to describe it. Evocative. Historical. Absorbing.

Do I like the cover? On its own, I do like it. However, I would have chosen something different for this particular book, which has such a strong sense of location.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, but some of his non-fiction output looks interesting as you can tell from the novel that he’s good at researching.


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