THE NEW AWARD-WINNING INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER BY THE AUTHOR OF THE MOUNTAIN
"Can be compared (with no fear of hyperbole) to Stephen King and Jo Nesbø" - Massimo Vincenz, La Repubblica.
"D'Andrea piles on the action and the atmosphere with the panache of a seasoned writer" Marcel Berlins, The Times.
Marlene Wegener is on the run.
She has stolen something from her husband, something priceless, irreplaceable.
But she doesn't get very far. When her car veers off a bleak midwinter road she takes refuge in the remote home of Simon Keller, a tough mountain man who lives alone with his demons. Here in her high mountain sanctuary, she begins to rekindle a sense of herself: tough, capable, no longer the trophy on a gangster's arm.
But Herr Wegener does not know how to forgive, and in his rage he makes a pact with the devil.
The Trusted Man. He cannot be called off, he cannot be reasoned with and one way or another he will get the job done.
Unless, of course, he's beaten to it . . .
Translated from the Italian by Howard Curtis and Katherine Gregor
At the start of this twisted thriller set in 1974 Italy from D'Andrea (Beneath the Mountain), Marlene, the wife of a criminal named Wegener, steals a pouch filled with sapphires from her husband and flees. Her plan is to exchange the sapphires for identity documents and start a new life. Driving in the Dolomites, she takes a wrong turn, loses control of her car, and crashes. Marlene is rescued by Simon Keller, a Bau'r (a peasant who's also a priest), who brings her to his farmstead to recover from her injuries. Initially, Marlene thinks Simon is a friend, but the longer she stays with him, the more she realizes he may be as dangerous as Wegener. Trapped in the snow-covered mountains miles from civilization, Marlene must make tough choices in order to survive. The tension rises as she realizes that sinister events appear to be connected to tales of the Brothers Grimm. Disjointed flashbacks won't stop readers from turning the pages to the suspenseful conclusion. Fans of contemporary dark fairy tales will want to check this one out.