Readers’ Favourite (US) 5 Star Review – Acqua Sacra

Acqua Sacra
by Keith Henderson
Fiction – Social Issues 236 Pages
Reviewed on 03/31/2017
Book Review
Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers’ Favorite

Suzanna Ricci’s marriage is on the rocks, leaving her feeling a failure. In Acqua Sacra by Keith Henderson, she is charged by her mother with the renovation of the old family house in Acqua Sacra, a small village in the Abruzzo region of Italy. She is grateful to escape Montreal and the accusing eyes of her family, to leave behind the legal minutiae of divorce and attend to the rebuilding of the earthquake-damaged house. There she faces a different set of problems: Italian bureaucracy, a helpless architect, and feckless builders. But while attending a family wedding in Rome, she meets the senior partner of a Montreal law firm who, prompted by her ex-husband, invites her to join his organisation in a junior capacity. Initially suspicious of the motives involved, she nevertheless accepts the invitation and quickly finds she is enjoying her new job.

The work in Acqua Sacra, however, grinds to a halt with builders defaulting on contracts, disappearing from site and demanding additional payments to cover unforeseen difficulties. When she is offered the chance to undertake a small project in the Abruzzo region for her new employers, she is at first grateful for the opportunity and hopes the visit will also allow her some time to revive the renovation of her family home. But as the reality of her assignment becomes clear, she begins to realise that she is involved in no simple task and is in real danger. Forced to act for the Canadian security services in a plot involving the Mafia and the Libyan regime, struggling to deal with the machinations of her employers and the demands of her ex-husband, and dealing with Italian architects and builders, can she possibly survive the seething maelstrom in which she has become embroiled?

Acqua Sacra is a compelling book, dealing with both personal and family issues, and more broadly political and commercial issues. Keith Henderson has created a pacey narrative written in the style of a good thriller, which takes in the harrowing effects of divorce, the feelings of failure and their effects on the family, along with Mafia involvement in the Canadian construction industry and all levels of Italian politics and commerce. It deals with corruption at every level and the difficulties of being an honest, caring individual in a world seemingly rotten to the core. An interesting, though sometimes worrying book for anyone who cares about our planet. I thoroughly enjoyed Acqua Sacra and do not hesitate to recommend it.

Acqua Sacra
by Keith Henderson
Fiction – Social Issues 236 Pages
Reviewed on 03/31/2017

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