"A lushly written, dream-like modern gothic with as many dark turns and twists as the Montebianco family tree has branches. Welcome to the family." – Paul Tremblay, bestselling author of Survivor Song
After a DNA test reveals that Alberta “Bert” Monte is the sole heir of a wealthy noble family in the Italian Alps, she leaves New York to visit the family estate: Montebianco Castle, a centuries-old compound isolated in the mountains. What appeared to be a fairy tale inheritance, however, soon turns into a nightmare as Bert begins to uncover the dark legacy of her family: the truth about the abandoned village at the base of the castle; the whispers of stolen children; and the rumors of a legendary monster in the mountains. As Bert unravels the truth, she learns that her true inheritance lies not in a noble title or ancestral treasures, but in her very genes, and now she must choose between preserving a secret centuries in the keeping or abandoning it forever.
“Vivid and uncanny…makes the most of Trussoni’s signature blend of science, myth, and mystery.” —Deborah Harkness, bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches
"Inventive and entertaining." — People
“A Gothic Extravaganza.” —Kirkus
Trussoni (Angelology) concocts a deliciously creepy tale of a windfall turned nightmare. Twenty-eight-year-old Bert Monte lives in Milton, N.Y., and has recently separated from her husband, Luca, when she receives a surprising letter from Italy informing her that she has inherited the Montebianco estate, including a castle in the Alps and a large sum of money. Her grandmother, Nonna Sophia, explains that Bert's grandfather shortened their name after they immigrated to the U.S., and shares some tragic family history about seeing her younger brother abducted by a horrific beast that was known to take children near the family castle. Luca agrees to accompany Bert to Turin, where she learns about her inheritance and responsibilities, but the trip is marred by a fight, culminating in Luca telling Bert that "her family is tainted." She travels alone by helicopter to the isolated, snow-covered Montebianco Castle. After the helicopter does not return within a week as promised, Bert immerses herself in her family history, learning the truth behind the legend of the Beast of Nevenero and hoping to patch things up with Luca. Trussoni plausibly and expertly combines an intense, darkly gothic narrative with elements of mystery, the paranormal, and legendary tales. This odyssey of monsters and family will enrapture readers.