- Expected Apr 7, 2020
From the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of the Angelology series comes a bewitching gothic novel of suspense that plunges readers into a world of dark family secrets, the mysteries of human genetics, and the burden of family inheritance. It feels like a fairy tale when Alberta ”Bert” Monte receives a letter addressed to “Countess Alberta Montebianco” at her Hudson Valley, New York, home that claims she’s inherited a noble title, money, and a castle in Italy. While Bert is more than a little skeptical, the mystery of her aristocratic family’s past, and the chance to escape her stressful life for a luxury holiday in Italy, is too good to pass up.
At first, her inheritance seems like a dream come true: a champagne-drenched trip on a private jet to Turin, Italy; lawyers with lists of artwork and jewels bequeathed to Bert; a helicopter ride to an ancestral castle nestled in the Italian Alps below Mont Blanc; a portrait gallery of ancestors Bert never knew existed; and a cellar of expensive vintage wine for Bert to drink.
But her ancestry has a dark side, and Bert soon learns that her family history is particularly complicated. As Bert begins to unravel the Montebianco secrets, she begins to realize her true inheritance lies not in a legacy of ancestral treasures, but in her very genes.
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.