It must be difficult to write a book following the success of one that remained on the bestseller lists for four years. John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, moves to Venice, Italy in The City of Falling Angels. However, Venice does not come to life as Savannah did in the previous book.
On Jan. 29, 1996, the Fenice Opera House in Venice burned down. Was it negligence, arson, an accident that caused the fire? Everyone in Venice has an opinion. Berendt searches out the people who witnessed or were affected by the fire in order to find a focal point for his story. The city is populated with fascinating characters, but neither the fire nor the characters carry this story forward. By the time the reader finishes, there's little more interest in the city or the people of the city.