The Lost Girls of Rome by Donato Carrisi

Monica is an intern doing a rotation with the paramedics. Tony is an experienced paramedic but nothing in their training prepared them for what they found when the responded to a call of a man having a heart attack. Not only were the words "kill me" etched into Jeremiah Smith's chest, in the corner of his room were mementos from female homicide victims. One of whom was Monica's sister.

Clemente and Marcus have been asked to look into the disappearance of Lara, an architecture student who has disappeared. Could she be one of Smith's victims? Marcus is missing most of his memory. He was shot in the head and survived but he doesn't remember anything. What he can do is "feel" things about people from their possessions and that skill will be helpful in finding Lara. Not police officers, Clemente and Marcus are actually part of a group called the penitenzieri. These are rogue priests who keep track of admissions made in the confessional and then they mete out their own forms of justice. Sometimes they just report anonymous tips to the police, sometimes they actually take care of the wrongdoers. Supposedly disbanded by the Vatican, they have gone underground.

Sandra Vega, newly widowed, is a forensic analyst with the Rome police department. She is actually a crime scene photographer working on another crime scene when she becomes involved with Marcus. Unknowingly her husband's death becomes of interest to Marcus.

This book is really a layered thriller. There is the penitenzieri, the disappearance of Lara, Smith's involvement in the other murders and the death of Sandra's husband. While this sounds like it would be confusing it's not. Each story line plays off the others until the come crashing together at the end. Each character is interesting in themselves. Marcus is the crux of all the threads. The book moves along and the end is well worth the read.

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