This Friday we’re very excited to bring you The Light in the Ruins from Chris Bohjalian the New York Times bestselling author of The Sandcastle Girls, a spine-tingling novel of love, desperation, and revenge, set in the war-ravaged countryside of Italy.
1943: Tucked away in the idyllic hills of Tuscany, the Rosatis, an Italian family of noble lineage, believe that the walls of their ancient villa can keep them safe from the war raging across Europe. Cristina, only eighteen years old, spends her days swimming in the pool, playing with her niece and nephew, and wandering amid the olive groves. But when two soldiers, a German and an Italian, arrive at the villa asking to see the old family burial site, the Rosatis’ bucolic tranquillity is shattered. A young German soldier begins to court Cristina, Allies descend expecting hospitality, and what was once a sanctuary soon becomes a battleground.
1955: Serafina Bettini, an investigator with the Italian police department, has her demons. A beautiful woman, Serafina carefully hides her scars along with haunting memories of the war. But when she is assigned to a gruesome new case—a vengeful serial killer targeting the Rosati family—Serafina finds herself digging deeper into the past to find out who wants to murder this family in cold blood.
Praise for The Light in the Ruins:
“Thoroughly gripping, beautiful, and astonishingly vengeful, this novel is a heartbreaker. Bohjalian’s latest turn to historical fiction is immensely rewarding.”
-Julie Kane, Library Journal (starred review)
“Mastering matters subtle and grotesque, Bohjalian combines intricate plotting and bewitching sensuality with historical insight and a profound sense of place to create an exceptional work of suspense rooted in the tragic aberrations of war.”
-Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
“A literary thriller…a soulful why-done-it.”
“An exploration of post-WWII Italy doubles as a murder mystery in this well-crafted novel…an entertaining historical whodunit.”
“The Light in the Ruins is a riveting re-creation of a time and place long gone, but not forgotten.”
-Valerie Ryan, Shelf Awareness