Private Lessons by Bernard O’Keeffe

Title: Private Lessons (DI Garibaldi #2)

Author: Bernard O’Keeffe

Published on: 30 March 2023

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers | Police Procedural

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Private Lessons is the second book in Bernard O’Keeffe’s DI Garibaldi series.

A private tutor is found murdered in a Gothic Cemetry. The victim has spent the summer working in Italy for the wealthy Rivetti family, who appear have something to hide, as too do his bosses at the high-end Forum Tutorial Agency. And, why are his old friends, who he’d been partying with the night before, quite so reticent when questioned?

DI Garibaldi and his partner Milly ‘Uber’ Gardner are assigned to the case. As they dig deeper, they learn that almost everybody connected to the victim, including the students he taught, have something to hide.

I was hooked on to the story from start to finish. I loved the plot and the characters. DI Garibaldi just made it to my list of favorite detectives of modern times. He’s divorced, has a shaky relation with his teenage son, and is currently in a live-in relationship with a high school teacher. He keeps distance from his boss and co-workers too. But when it comes to work, he would go to any extent to solve a case.

The story begins with a scene from a cemetery where a young man tries to mug a group of teenagers. The teens retaliate by kicking the man to ground. Fast forward to present, Giles is a tutor associated with Forum agency. He’s currently at the Rivettis, a rich Italian family with whom he toured one summer (as a tutor). Mrs., Rivetti tells Giles that her daughter’s tutor has resigned so would Giles be interested to tutor the daughter too?

The same evening, Giles attends a party hosted by Forum Agency. The next morning, a hungover jogger finds Giles’ body in the cemetery. Garibaldi and Gardner arrive at the scene of crime – there’s no ID on the victim. Later, they learn the victim is Giles, a private tutor. As the detectives start to dig deeper into Giles’ life, they realize that everybody associated with the victim have something to hide.

The students are reluctant to talk to the detectives – some want to come forth and tell them about Giles but hesitate, while others believe it’s better to keep mum. The founders of the tutor agency and the Rivettis aren’t forthcoming either – they are more focused on how this murder might ruin their public image.

Crime case aside, Garibaldi seems to be having a bit of a personal issue – related to his son, Alfie. He seems to be avoiding his father and Garibaldi wonders if Alfie joining Oxford was a wrong decision.

The mystery behind the murder kept me guessing till the end. Multiple suspects and their secrets made me wonder if Giles’ charming was just a facade. The identity of the killer and their reason for murder was not all that surprising but yes, it did justice to the suspense built throughout the story.

Overall, Private Lessons by Bernard O’Keeffe is an engrossing, unique, and interesting police procedural. If you are looking for a riveting read, I recommend you give this book a try.

I received an ARC from Muswell Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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