A Death in Malta: An Assassination and a Family’s Quest for Justice by Paul Caruana Galizia - review by Caroline Moorehead

Caroline Moorehead

Who Killed Daphne?

A Death in Malta: An Assassination and a Family’s Quest for Justice


Hutchinson Heinemann 323pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Early in the afternoon of 16 October 2017, Daphne Caruana Galizia got into her car to drive to town for a meeting at her bank in Valletta. ‘There are crooks everywhere,’ she had just written in her blog. ‘The situation is desperate.’ Seconds later there was an explosion. A passing farmer heard her scream before the car turned into a ball of fire. Caruana Galizia was then fifty-three, the mother of three grown-up sons and Malta’s most tenacious and accusatory investigative journalist, a thorn in the side of a profoundly corrupt government.

Paul, her youngest son, was working in London as a journalist and flew home to join his lawyer father, his brothers and their wider grieving family. By 2017, Caruana Galizia had become a national figure, revered by some, loathed and feared by others, her house barricaded as a result of death threats, her blog on Malta’s ills – money laundering, corruption, drug smuggling and rampant pollution – attracting more readers than the daily newspapers.

To come to terms with the tragedy and the horror that had visited his family, Paul sat down to write a book on his mother’s life. She was a thin, dark-haired woman, with an angular face, much attached to her sons, about whom she wrote that when young they were

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

A Mirror - Westend

Follow Literary Review on Twitter