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Description - The Curse of Pietro Houdini by Derek B. Miller

The compelling and heartrending new novel from the award-winning author of Norwegian By Night and How To Find Your Way In The Dark

We will lie, cheat, steal, fight, kill, and sin our way to Napoli. We will trust no one but each other, and we will remember that in this place, at this time, there is no way to tell friend from foe.

The bombing of Rome in 1943 leaves fourteen-year-old Massimo orphaned and with no choice but to set out on a perilous journey to find his remaining family in Naples. A chance meeting with the mysterious and charismatic Pietro Houdini will deliver both of them to the doors of the monastery of Monte Cassino, a centuries-old haven of contemplation, learning and art.

But the abbey is in the path of the relentless Allied advance to Rome. Pietro and Massimo need a plan to survive the coming onslaught and that means out-manoeuvring the Germans who are as interested in the abbey's art collection as in the murder of two of their officers in the town below.
For their plan to work, they must dissemble, disguise, and outwit two armies using skills that Pietro has in spades, but as war edges ever closer, it becomes clear that Massimo is not without a surprise or two either...

The Curse of Pietro Houdini is a sweeping tale of resilience, hope and survival which is at once an action-packed adventure heist, an imaginative chronicle of forgotten history and a philosophical coming-of-age story.

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