1943: Tucked away in the idyllic hills south of Florence, the Rosatis, an Italian family of noble lineage, believe that the walls of their ancient villa will keep them safe from the war raging across Europe. Eighteen-year-old Cristina spends her days swimming in the pool, playing with her young niece and nephew, and wandering aimlessly amid the estate’s gardens and olive groves. But when two soldiers, a German and an Italian, arrive at the villa asking to see an ancient Etruscan burial site, the Rosatis’ bucolic tranquility is shattered. A young German lieutenant begins to court Cristina, the Nazis descend upon the estate demanding hospitality, and what was once was their sanctuary becomes their prison.
1955: Serafina Bettini, an investigator with the Florence police department, has her own demons. A beautiful woman, Serafina carefully hides her scars along with her haunting memories of the war. But when she is assigned to a gruesome new case– a serial killer targeting the Rosatis, murdering the remnants of the family one-by-one in cold blood– Serafina finds herself digging into a past that involves both the victims and her own tragic history.
By Deb Caletti
The Sunday morning starts like any other, aside from the slight hangover. Dani wakes up and notices her husband, Ian, is not home and doesn’t come back by the end of the day. As the police work methodically through all the logical explanations, Dani searches frantically for a clue as to whether Ian is in fact dead or alive. She examines her relationship for clues and plumbs the depth of her conscience to discover the hard truth about herself, her husband, and their lives together.
Albert Richardson and Junius Browne, two correspondents for the ‘New York Tribune,’ were captured at the Battle of Vicksburg and spent twenty months in horrific prisons before escaping and making their way to Union territory. A marvelous, surreal voyage through the cold mountains, dark prisons, and mysterious bands of misfits living in the shadows of the Civil War.