top of page

'Syndrome' by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

Book Description

What is the difference between dedication and obsession?

While investigating the murder of two known offenders with connections to a notorious, recently escaped London drug trafficker, the Scotland Yard forensic team headed by DCI Eric Shaw becomes involved in a child abuse case. A nurse had accused a mother of a series of violent, feverish attacks on her ten-year-old son, Jimmy. The woman would exasperate the condition of her child to draw the attention and compassion of health workers at the hospital.

Eric learned of this accusation by chance because he is dating Catherine Foulger, the paediatrician looking after the child. She is an old flame, and he is seeing her again in the hope of putting some order back in his life after discovering the identity of the serial killer nicknamed Black Death.

But this is a relationship his former partner Adele Pennington, still working as an investigator in Forensic Services, has not really accepted.

DCI Eric Shaw returns.

In addition to proposing two intertwined investigative cases personally involving the main characters, Syndrome develops the dilemma with which The Mentor ended. It shows the protagonist’s inability to consider the crimes of his pupil totally wrong because, as a child, she had witnessed the massacre of her family.

This will lead him to closely observe the thin line separating good from evil, knowing full well that if he ever crosses it, he will never be able to go back.

The Detective Eric Shaw Trilogy

Set between 2014 and 2017, the Detective Eric Shaw Trilogy has as the main character a detective chief inspector leading a forensic team assisting police detectives in their investigations at Scotland Yard.

DCI Shaw is facing a crucial period in his life. Excessive dedication to work caused his marriage to fail and turned him into a cop ready to break more than one rule to satisfy his obsession with bringing criminals to justice. His already precarious balance is undermined by a forensic investigator on his team who is much younger than him, Adele Pennington, for whom he has feelings that he considers inappropriate given the age difference, and by a series of murders on which he investigates together with his god-daughter DI Miriam Leroux. They bear similarities to a 1994 cold case in which Eric himself rescued a seven-year-old girl from a crime scene, the only witness to the massacre of her family.

In this psychological crime thriller series, the border between investigation and crime becomes blurred in a story that isn’t only about finding the culprit, but rather observing how the main character decides to react to his shocking findings. In a dark game of deception and suspense, the reader will be thrown into modern-day London and will end up wondering where the line between good and evil, justice and revenge really is.


Review for 'Syndrome' by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli.

Read and reviewed for Zooloo's Book Tours, Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli and Anakina publishers.

Publication date 28th February 2023.

This is the second book I have read by this author. It is also the second book in 'The Detective Eric Shaw' series. I have also read the 'The Mentor' which is the first book in this series.

I was originally drawn to this book by its eye catching gorgeous cover and intriguing sounding synopsis and title.

This novel consists of 9 chapters. The chapters are short to medium in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!

This book is based in London, England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 , UK 🇬🇧. The bonus for me of books that are partly or fully based in the UK is that I live in the UK and have sometimes visited places mentioned in the book which makes it easier to picture. I have actually visited and had holidays in England on several occasions so am looking forward to seeing if I recognise anywhere that Rita has based the book on.

This book is written in third person perspective and the main protagonist is Detective Eric Shaw The benefits of third person perspective are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out in anything.

'Syndrome' discusses some topics that may upset some readers or may not be suitable for others. I like to point this out ahead of time in my reviews so you can judge if this book is for you or not. In this book Rita discusses drugs and paedophilia.

Love, love, loved this book!!!! A perfect addition to an addictive series!! Absolutely gripping edge of your seat page turner with an explosive twist!!

This book is extremely well written with vivid descriptions that really set the scene and put you in the storyline. The cover and synopsis suit the book perfectly.

What an absolutely explosive addition to an absolutely addictive series!! I loved the first book 'Mentor' and didn't think it could get as good as or better than that but a HUGE WELL done to Rita you managed to blow it out of the water again!! The storyline was captivating and addictive from the first page until the last and I was completely invested in it. It was absolutely rammed full of romance, murder, tension, twists, suspense and everything you could ask for in a page turning psychological thriller. I just could not put this book down and finished it in one sitting. My heart was in my throat on so many occasions in this book and had one point I even shouted out 'OMG Nooooo!' when something happened to a certain character!! There was a perfect amount of gruesomeness which is always a bonus for me!! Another of the things I love about this series is that it really does make you think of the fine line between justice and crime and what is right and what is wrong. Again, I had myself questioning whether I would do the same as a certain character did in this book! I must say I was mind blown to discover that they were back in this book and doing what they were but I wont say anymore than that as I don't want to spoil it for future readers so if you want to find out what I am talking about you will just have to grab your copy today!! This book can definitely be read as a standalone but if you want more in depth insight into the characters and their relationships then I definitely recommend reading 'The Mentor' first. I was also absolutely mind blown by a big reveal which I most certainly did not see coming and I am intrigued to see how it is going to effect the relationship between at least two of the characters!! Every time I kept telling myself one more chapter the one I was in ended at a point where there was no way I could stop reading so I absolutely devoured it in one sitting!! I loved the insight into the forensic investigation side of crime and police work which was absolutely fascinating!! I cannot wait to get stuck into the third book in this series which is called 'Beyond The Limit' and I am off to read now!!

Do not start this book until you have cleared your schedules as you will not be able to put it down!!

Although this is the second book in the series I had would have had absolutely no problems reading it without the others. Any details or events that have previously happened are mentioned in just the right amount of detail to let a new reader know what has happened and yet not too much to bore a previous reader.

I absolutely loved meeting all of the characters again and they are very quickly becoming like friends to me. I am actually missing them already and cannot wait to meet them again in 'Beyond The Limit'! The characters are all realistic and strong and I was completely invested in them throughout. I was mind blown that a certain character is still continuing on like they were from the last book but I am also very happy as I, personally, agreed with what they did. To find out more then check out 'The Mentor' or read my review on it, and then check the book out!! I really like Eric Shaw and think he was a strong leader for his fantastic team. I also love that he is not a by the book DCI which makes him a memorable character. It is intriguing that he made the decision that he did from 'The Mentor' and you can see that he agrees more with what a certain person did and I am looking forward to seeing where this attitude will lead to for both him and the other person and where it will lead to! I also love his DI Miriam who is a great character and made me laugh on several occasions with her French swearing which I had fun translating!! I am also looking forward to seeing what happens with her after what she discovered in this book. I hope it doesn't change the relationship too much but I will soon find out as I am off to read 'Beyond The Limit' now! I can't stand Jankowski who I don't trust and makes me think of a snake! . I won't say anymore as I don't want to spoil it for future readers. Regardless of what I thought about who, each character worked perfectly to make this page turning psychological thriller!!! I cannot wait to meet them all again in "Beyond The Limit"!! Keep your eyes peeled for my review for that coming soon!!!

Congratulations Rita on yet another huge success! This is exactly why you are in my favourite authors list!! Here's to your next success 🥂!!

Overall an absolutely unputdownable psychological thriller that will keep you up at night on the edge of your seat with a pounding heart and make your jaw drop with the explosive twist!!

Genres covered in this book include Murder Thriller, Suspense, Crime Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Suspense Thriller, Police Procedural, Serial Killer Thriller, Mystery, Thriller and Psychological Fiction amongst others.

I would recommend this book to the fans of the above as well as fans of Mark Edwards, Cathryn Grant, Teresa Driscoll, Freida McFadden, Daniel Hurst, K. L. Slater, Mark Edwards and anyone looking for an explosive psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout!!

276 pages.

This book is just £3.99 to purchase on kindle and £9.99 in paperback (at time of review) via Amazon which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!!

Rated 5/5 (I LOVED it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook.

Feel free to add me on Goodreads or follow me on my website or Facebook for more reviews

@Syndrome @TheDetectiveEricShawTrilogy @RitaCarlaFrancescaMonticalli @Anakina @LadyAnakina @ZooLoosBT @ZooloosBookTours @Bookworm1986 @bookworm86 @Bookworm1986 @bookworm86 @Goodreads @Amazon @AmazonKindle @Bookstagram @BookBlogger

Author Bio

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli is an Italian science fiction and thriller author.

She has lived in Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy) since 1993, earning a degree in biology and working as independent author, scientific and literary translator, educator and science communicator. In the past she also worked as researcher, tutor and professor’s assistant in the field of ecology at “Dipartimento di Biologia Animale ed Ecologia” of the University of Cagliari.

As a cinema addict, she started by writing screenplays and fan fictions inspired by the movies.

She has written original fiction since 2009.

Between 2012-2013 she wrote and published a hard science fiction series set on Mars and titled “Deserto rosso”.

The whole “Deserto rosso” series, which includes four books, was also published as omnibus in December 2013 (ebook and paperback) and hit No. 1 on the Italian Kindle Store in November 2014.

“Deserto rosso” was published in English, with the title “Red Desert”, between 2014 and 2015.

The first book in the series is “Red Desert - Point of No Return”; the second is “Red Desert - People of Mars”; the third is “Red Desert - Invisible Enemy”; and the final book is “Red Desert - Back Home”.

She also authored three crime thrillers in the Detective Eric Shaw trilogy - “Il mentore” (2014), “Sindrome” (2016), and “Oltre il limite” (2017) -, an action thriller titled “Affinità d’intenti” (2015), five more science fiction novels - “L’isola di Gaia” (2014), “Per caso” (2015), “Ophir. Codice vivente” (2016), “Sirius. In caduta libera” (2018), and “Nave stellare Aurora” (2020) - and a non-fiction book titled “Self-publishing lab. Il mestiere dell’autoeditore” (2020).

“Il mentore” was first published in English by AmazonCrossing with the title “The Mentor” in 2015 and then republished in 2022.

“Affinità d’intenti” was published in English with the title “Kindred Intentions” in 2016.

All her books have been Amazon bestsellers in Italy so far. “The Mentor” was an Amazon bestseller in USA, UK, Australia, and Canada in 2015-2016.

She is also a podcaster at FantascientifiCast, an Italian podcast about science fiction, a member of Mars Initiative and of the International Thriller Writers Organization.

She is often a guest both in Italy and abroad during book fairs, including Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino (Turin Book Fair), Frankfurter Buchmesse (Frankfurt Book Fair) and Più Libri Più Liberi (Rome Book Fair), local publishing events, university conventions as well as classes (University of Insubria), where she gives speeches or conducts workshops about self-publishing and genre fiction writing.

As a science fiction and Star Wars fan, she is known in the Italian online community by her nickname, Anakina.

Purchase Link

15 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Shadows In The Ashes by Christina Courtenay. Guest Post

Book Description Rising from the ashes … a love that echoes through time Present Day – Finally escaping an abusive marriage, Caterina Rossi takes her three-year-old daughter and flees to Italy. There

Zero Kill by M.K Hill . Promo

Book Description A TIMES BEST NEW THRILLER PICK 'Runs at breakneck speed through a dark and dangerous universe populated with characters who are never what they seem' KATHLEEN KENT, author of Black Wo

Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page