On Edge

Tell me the setting for a book is somewhere in Italy and you’ve already got me hooked. Between the descriptions of renaissance paintings, savory foods, and the sunsets on piazzas, I’m already in love with the book.

With this in mind, I picked up Mapping the Edge by Sarah Dunant. I hadn’t read a book with an Italian setting in a while, and this one was about a British woman traveling to Italy for an adventurous getaway. Sounded perfect to me.

However I don’t think I was ready for the anxiety I felt while reading, even though the book was clearly a suspense novel. It would have taken some serious amount of Chianti not to have felt the tension I felt while reading the book.

The narrative is a bit jarring at first as the chapters are divided into accounts from England and accounts from Italy but once you get caught in the story it all falls into place.

The main character, Anna, takes a five-day holiday to Italy and leaves her daughter in the care of her friends. When she fails to return home the reader is given glimpses into what could have happened to her. The author interweaves two parallel narratives, one in which Anna is involved in an illicit affair and the other is something a lot more sinister, although both quite dangerous.

Dunant gives the reader an intricate and smart thriller. It definitely kept me on the edge.