Out on 01 June 2023

Ritual of Fire

D. V. Bishop

01 June 2023
720 pages


Ceremonial murder has returned to Florence. Only two men can end the destruction. Featuring Officer Cesare Aldo, Ritual of Fire is an atmospheric historical thriller by D. V. Bishop, set in Renaissance Italy.

'Fast becoming a serious rival to C. J. Sansom and S. J. Parris' – Historical Novel Society

'A deft and engrossing historical thriller set in Renaissance Florence' Anna Mazzola

Florence. Summer, 1538.

A night patrol finds a wealthy merchant hanged and set ablaze in the city’s main square. More than mere murder, this killing is intended to put the fear of God into Florence. Forty years earlier, puritanical monk Girolamo Savonarola was executed the same way. Does this new killing mean his fanatical disciples are reviving the monk’s regime of holy terror?

Cesare Aldo is busy hunting thieves in the Tuscan countryside, leaving Constable Carlo Strocchi to investigate the killing. When another merchant is burned alive in public, the rich start fleeing to their country estates. But the Tuscan hills can also be dangerous.

Growing religious fervour and a scorching heatwave drives the city ever closer to madness. Meanwhile, someone is stalking those powerful men who forged lifelong bonds in the dark days of Savonarola.

Unless Aldo and Strocchi work together, all of Florence will be consumed by an inferno of death and destruction.

Ritual of Fire is the third Cesare Aldo mystery, preceded by City of Vengeance and The Darkest Sin.

He is fast becoming a serious rival to C. J. Sansom and S. J. Parris with his page-turning novels. Highly recommended
A deft and engrossing historical thriller set in Renaissance Florence drawing on the fascinating and troubling legacy of Girolamo Savonarola. I thoroughly enjoyed the latest - and I think best - in DV Bishop's brilliant series
In Ritual of Fire, the third scintillating Cesare Aldo novel, D.V. Bishop once again immerses us in sixteenth-century Florence and the heady intrigues of Renaissance Italy. Aldo is a magnificent creation