I have read the 130th book for the book challenge. It was The Memory Key: A Commissario Alec Blume Novel by Conor Fitzgerald.
Commissario Alec Blume is drawn into an investigation of the murder of one woman and the attempted murder of another woman by Magistrate Filippo Principe. The attempted murder is of Stephania Manfellotta, a terrorist who was convicted of a bombing years ago. She was shot walking across the piazza. The woman who was murdered was Sofia Fontana, an assistant in a research lab at the university, who was also shot while walking across the piazza. The bullets used in the shootings are the same. Whoever shot Manfellotta also shot Fontana.
Blume is investigating Professor Pitagaro, a colleague of Manfellotta, who also has a course on the memory. Blume is also reading a book by Fisher called The Memory Key where numbers are remembered by substituting pictures for the numbers. Another professor Blume is investigating is Dr. Ideo, the researcher for whom Sofia Fontana worked. He is also looking into the background of her cousin Olivia and her boyfriend Marco and his brother Paolo.
In addition, Blume is worried about a case involving road rage by a citizen who killed a motorcyclist. He wants the motorist to be treated leniently but his girlfriend Caterina is horrified and has a barber who will testify to the brutality of the attack. Blume interferes with the barber’s testimony. Caterina goes to the barber’s shop and is hit by a motor scooter and is in the hospital. She is also pregnant. She recovers from her injuries but is debating about whether or not to have an abortion because she is now estranged from Blume because of his behavior.
Stephania Manfellotto is murdered in the hospital. She is strangled and thrown of a balcony. Then the rifle used to fire the shots at the two women is found in Pitagaro’s house. Blume does more investigating and finds that Ideo has lost seven assistants over the past couple of years. They have left because of sexual harassment. Sofia had written a letter of resignation just prior to her death. Blume discovers that Sofia, not Manfellotto, was the main target. It was Dr. Ideo who was the culprit. The shooting of Manfellotto was a mistake. Ideo wanted to kill Sofia for rejecting his advances.
This was a rather confusing book. There were a lot of dead ends to the investigation. A lot of false leads. Dr. Ideo does not emerge as a suspect until rather late in the book. The focus is on Pitagaro and the memory key. And Blume’s personal life plays a rather large part of the story. But it is a good read.