Books by Greg Ahlgren

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The Medici Legacy

FlorenceThe Medici Legacy. Fiction. Thriller. When thirty-something Deputy Inspector Antonio Ferrara of the Italian Polizia di Stato discovers that the seemingly random victims of a Tuscan serial killer may all be illegitimate descendants of one Giovanni di Cosimo de Medici, a 15th century Florentine banker, his superior scoffs at his theory, the Italian military police caution him to leave this closed case alone on the basis that it involves an issue of "national security," and even his father uses the occasion to hector him to leave police work and return to the family art business. Undeterred, Antonio enlists the aid of Rachel Fuller, an American Fulbright scholar working on her Medici dissertation in Florence, and together they travel to America to unlock a secret that spans three continents.

279 pages, Available Amazon Kindle 4.99, Amazon paperback $16.95

REVIEWS:

From Knightengale Books:

*****Well-written, exciting Read!

"After the murder of a wealthy socialite rocks his hometown of Florence, Deputy Inspector Antonio Ferrara searches for redemption in a case he failed to solve. Unknowingly handsome, with a keen eye and an acute sense of observation, Antonio, the son of a famous art dealer, is burdened by his guilt. Under the nose of his doubting supervisors, he reopens the case and stumbles into a cross-continental crime ring involving secrets from the past and a powerful Renaissance-era family - the Medici.

The name 'Medici' links the murder with a string of random kidnappings occurring in the United States, but what is the connection? Are the descendents of the five-hundred year old banking family being targeted, or is Antonio chasing a myth?

Antonio pairs up with Rachel Fuller, an American doctoral student studying the Medici, and is suddenly whisked across the ocean, chasing after what local police have dismissed as simple missing persons cases. Each layer of discovery leads to more questions, as Antonio realizes that his suspected kidnappers are entangled in a web of criminal activity involving germ warfare, a World War II feud and legendary treasure. There are secrets in the Medici line only science can uncover. With the odds stacked against them and danger at every turn, Antonio and Rachel race to untangle the clues in order save the life of an innocent girl.

The Medici Legacy unravels slowly at first, then leads you down a spiraling staircase of mystery and excitement. Ahlgren's careful use of dialogue makes his storytelling glow. His characters are believable, even likeable, with all their unique quirks. Ahlgren's descriptive style and intelligent humor add texture to this international crime thriller. The Medici Legacy is an intriguing read that will keep you guessing until the very end."

From Amazon.com:

“Okay, stylish thrillers in Italy, handsome Italian detective, string of grisly abductions and murders, nothing particularly novel there. But then the action swings to America and includes a highly respected biological researcher, the Japanese germ warfare experiments of World War II and... the slave girls of the Medici family? I had no idea how it was all going to tie in, but Ahlgren does a good job keeping the tension high as he pulls it all together..."

 

From Sunday Smith at Book a Day Reviews:

"The story effortlessly told itself. The characters are well defined and distinctive in their actions and emotions, making this not only a good read but a smooth all-the-way-down read. How can you not love a character who plays a bass so his mind can relax and work out the problems?
This is not a deeply complexed story such as, say, The Hunt for Red October, but it is intertwined with the right number of elements to make it full-bodied and meaty. 
The blooming romance is natural, understandable, and does not eat up the reader's attention. The other elements and side plots weave together in a final package that is interesting and satisfying.

I loved this book and would highly recommend this to anyone who likes a good intrigue with hidden clues and just a touch of romance.  I so enjoyed this book that I am telling those closest to me they should read it."

 

 

The prologue is pasted in below as a sample.

Prologue

Florence, Tuscany

February 1743

“You'll catch your death, M'lady,” Carlotta said.

The tall figure standing at the open window, gazing out on Florence's magnificent piazza, didn't react. The servant girl opened her mouth to repeat her warning, but closed it silently, pulling her black woven wrap tighter around her shoulders.

She cleared her throat.

“Father Joacha will be along shortly, M'lady. I saw his coach pull up before the front gates.”

Anna Marie Medici turned so swiftly Carlotta stepped back. Even from the distance she could feel the anger smoldering in the Electess Palatine's body.

“And the good Father,” the Electess spat, “he will be able to pray away the six thousand Austrian soldiers defiling our land?”

Carlotta knew better than to answer or move.

The Electess turned back to the piazza, sighed, and closed the window. Turning again to the room she took three steps and stopped, reaching out gently for the corner of a table. Carlotta moved toward her but the woman waved her away.

“It is nothing,” she said, momentarily swaying. Without assistance, she walked to her bed in the center of the chamber and sat on it.

“Such a sad, dark place,” the Electess muttered. “Darkened streets. Darkened houses. Beggars everywhere. Monks parading about pointlessly in dark robes, with no salvation for themselves, let alone for Florence.”

She turned to face the servant girl.

“Luigi Genero. Our very own Arte dei Giudici e Notai. He will come today as well?”

“No M'lady,” Carlotta said. “He sent a message saying he was unavoidably delayed, but that your will, and the treasures of the Medici, are safe. The Lorrainers will never take…your…art…”

Carlotta fell silent under the Electess's piercing glare.

“Indeed. Some…lawyer assured you of that, did he? ‘Unavoidably delayed’-running for his miserable hide-he assures you our treasure is safe? He's safe from the Lorrainers, who care less for him than for a mange-ridden dog, perhaps that is what he meant.”

The woman turned her face to the ceiling, covering her eyes with her hand.

“Do you have a headache, M'lady?” Carlotta asked, turning toward the door. “I think I hear the-”

A noise of voices and boots tromping up stairs grew louder and Father Joacha's powerful voice boomed through the Ducal apartments. “For the sweet Virgin's sake, Leo, some wine!” he bellowed, adding in a lascivious tone, “Of course I'm not talking about you, Maria,” as Maria, giggling, opened the door and announced the priest. Joacha brushed past Maria, who squealed and slapped his hand before darting away.

He strode to the bed where he knelt and took the old woman's hand.

“And how is the Duchess today?” he asked.

“The same as yesterday, and I am still not a Duchess. You know well enough, Joacha, that being the younger sister of the last Duke does not a Duchess make.”

“You haven't changed in 58 years, Anna Marie.” He turned to the still-open door. “Giovanni’s blood! Where's my wine?” he yelled, as a young kitchen boy hurried up the stairs and stumbled into the room with a decanter and glass.

“Three Pater Nosters, young man, and I won't damn your soul to hell for making me wait,” he said, slapping the lad on the shoulder. He grabbed the decanter and waved the glass away. Opening it he took a long drink. “Tastes as good as it does when it's blood,” he declared, chuckling at Carlotta's reproachful look.

“So,” he said, wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his cassock. “To what do I owe the pleasure of a visit to My Lady's chamber?”

“The pleasure of seeing an old lady pass from the earth,” the Electess said, lying back on the bed.

The priest snorted. “God isn't quite ready for you yet, Anna Marie,” he said, swigging at the wine. “You're as healthy as I am.”

“Which of my servant girls can I confirm that with?” she asked, narrowing her eyes.

Father Joacha roared with laughter. “Ah, take your pick.” He turned to Carlotta. “Who have we here?”

“Carlotta. From the Caucasus. Recently arrived, I think.”

He eyed her up and down before giving a quite noticeable wink. Carlotta stiffened and turned to busy herself with something on the other side of the room.

“Joacha, I have a favor to ask of you.”

“Here? Now?”

The Electess almost smiled. “Such a dry wit. No, Joacha, I need an old friend for this one. Some worm of a lawyer has written a will in my name stipulating that all the treasures of the Medici-the palaces, the art, the sculpture-will pass to the Lorrainers but remain within Florence when I die, that the Lorrainers are not to take them away. Of course you and I know they will take what they please, and that the other jackals of Europe will do nothing except sniff around for scraps the Lorrainers miss.”

Joacha pointed with the decanter out the window toward the unseen encampments in the hills above the city. “They wait even now. Five hundred years of Medici rule in Tuscany will come to an end when you pass, Anna Marie. Glorious indeed.”

“Just so. But do you know, Joacha, that the true treasure of the Medici will not pass to them. Carlotta, you may go.”

Carlotta left the room, closing the door and standing outside, making softer and softer footfall sounds. She knelt down to listen.