Title: The Italian Divide by Allan Topol
Craig Page Thriller Series Book Five
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publicist
When prominent Italian banker Frederico Castiglione is murdered in an apparent jewelry robbery gone wrong, things are not what they seem. Former CIA Director Craig Page is enjoying his new life as Italian race car driver Enrico Marino―but when he hears that his friend and sponsor has been found dead, he suspects foul play. Shortly after Castiglione’s death, Italian banker Alberto Goldoni is asked to sell―or else. When he refuses, his daughter goes missing.
Craig embarks on an investigation to solve the riddles underlying Castiglione’s murder and rescue Goldoni’s daughter, but the pieces don’t quite fit. The murderers are Russian, but the takeovers are based in China, and somehow Roberto Parelli, the Italian separatist candidate for President, is involved.
With the help of Elizabeth Crowder, CIA director Betty Richards, and director of EU Counter Terrorism Giuseppe, Craig discovers a complicated web of mysterious political and financial takeovers across Italy, all linked back to Craig’s sworn enemy, Zhou Yun, and Roberto Parelli.
In The Italian Divide loyalties lie deep, dangerous alliances are made to be broken, and organized crime is omnipotent. Allan Topol’s latest Craig Page thriller is an electrifying foray into the world of international intrigue. Against blackmail, extortion, and treason, can Craig Page still prevail?
In Allan Topol’s The Italian Divide, ex-CIA agent turned race car driver Craig Page is back in action following the murder of his friend and bank CEO Frederico Castiglione.
In this fifth outing in the Craig Page Thriller series, the upcoming election in Italy provides an interesting backdrop for Craig’s (aka Enrico Marino) investigation into Frederico’s death. Front runner Roberto Parelli is in desperate need of funds to continue his campaign but his long time friend and bank owner Alberto Goldoni refuses to extend him more credit or grant an him an extension on his current loans which are in default. So when Parelli is approached by Craig’s old nemesis China’s Finance Minister Zhou Yun, he reluctantly agrees to Yun’s offer to finance his campaign. With his plan to become a financial super power within his grasp, Yun tries to force Goldoni to sell him his controlling shares in his bank, but Goldoni refuses and turns to Guiseppe Mercurio for help.
Guiseppe and Page have already teamed up to try to uncover the truth about Castiglione’s murder. They have traced the murder to the Russians and further digging links the plot back to the Chinese. With the help of reporter (and ex-flame) Elizabeth Crowder, Craig learns that Parelli also has ties to the Chinese, but it is not until Crowder covertly meets with China’s President Mei Ling that they learn Yun is surreptitiously buying controlling interests in Italian banks without her knowledge. With these purchases having a possible global impact, Page approaches CIA director Betty Richard for assistance. With the full support of the President, Craig devises a plan to bring Zhou Yun to justice for Castiglone’s murder but can he outmaneuver the wily Finance Minister?
The Italian Divide is another pulse-pounding addition to the Craig Page Thriller series. Allan Topol once again keeps the series fresh by moving the action to Italy and providing yet another credible storyline about political corruption and abuse of power as Zhou Yun once again tries to wheel and deal his way into achieving his goals. The novel thunders to a dramatic and jaw-dropping conclusion as Craig Page tries to stop Yun once and for all.