A Very Private Gentleman by Martin Booth
ALSO PUBLISHED AS "THE AMERICAN"
The protagonist makes his living custom-making firearms specified for individual assassins' needs. To the townsfolk he puts on the role of a painter of butterflies, which can be found in diverse and rich measures in the hilly and forested areas around the village. The protagonist is reserved and very skilled at keeping his real job a secret.
Edmund is a foreigner, and although he does not reveal his origin to anybody (not even the reader), he pretends to be an Englishman. This is not far from the truth, since he admits to having stayed in the English countryside for a very long time at an earlier stage in his career. Although his profession has demanded that he move location from time to time, he has developed a fondness for the Italian village, in particular a young woman, and has decided that he wants to stay.
However, a person described as a "shadow-dweller" starts showing up in the mountains spying - or threatening - Signor Farfalla. While finding out who he is, Signor Farfalla must decide whether to face his opponent or escape and leave his home once more
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
30th January 2013
Lorca is a self-mutilator whose addiction to pain terrorizes her "like an angry wasp"; it's a poor substitute for the warmth her mother, Nancy, doesn't offer.
Since their arrival in New York City, Nancy has been singularly focused on her flourishing career as a chef, and when Lorca is found cutting her thigh with a paring knife in the school bathroom and suspended, Nancy has no patience to spare. Desperate to find a way to connect with her mother, Lorca turns to the one thing she knows makes her happy: food. Lorca has long been adept at whipping up an omelet de fromage or pasta arrabbiata as salve to her mother's dark moods; now she determines to master her favorite dish: the Iraqi masgouf, a delicate fish concoction requiring intricate preparation.
She enlists the help of Victoria, an Iraqi-Jewsish cooking instructor in mourning for her husband, and together the two embark on a journey that takes on a significance beyond their original mission, finding in each other the solace, nourishment and companionship they've both been missing.