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Goodreads rating: 3.22

Hardcover, Published in Sep 2008 by Rizzoli Ex Libris

ISBN10: 0847831094 | ISBN13: 9780847831098

Page count: 152

This novel, the first from Walter Veltroni, the former mayor of Rome, chronicles two parallel stories. Giovanni Astengo, employed by the Italian State Archives, is driven to uncover the fate of his father, who disappeared in 1977 after the murder of his best friend and colleague. Returning to the former country house of his parents, he is compelled to dial the number of his childhood home, and due to forces unknown, someone answers: his thirteen-year-old self, just days before his father’s disappearance. The telephone establishes a mysterious link between the older man and his younger self, at a pivotal moment in their lives. While his family life unravels, Giovanni’s search for the cause of his father’s disappearance intensifies, setting the scene for a dramatic conclusion.

With this unpredictable detective story, Veltroni explores a troubled era in Italian life: the bloody terrorism that marked the seventies. Through the protagonist’s journey into his family’s past and the secrets that he uncovers, Veltroni offers a new perspective on a period in contemporary history—and its devastating consequences—that many of his compatriots still have not come to terms with.

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