This adventure/war story centers on Pino Lella, a real live character who lived in northern Italy during World War II. When Italy was defeated by the Americans, the German Nazis took control of the north and subjugated the Italians much as they subjugated the countries that had fought against them. If the book is to be believed, Lella helped Jews and other escape through the Alps to Switzerland under the guidance of a priest who ran a boy’s school. Then Lella returned to his family home where they insisted he join the Organization Todt, a work force of locals that served the Nazis. To avoid spoilers, I won’t describe more except to say many exciting adventures and dangerous events occur in the book.
The book is listed as a novel, yet all the characters are real historical figures. The events seem so sensationalized that it is difficult to believe they all happened as described, but I did not find that troubling. It was a good thriller, true or not. I felt it was too long and there were plenty of places to cut, but the story flowed smoothly. If you don’t like reading about nasty people doing atrocious things, this is one book to avoid, but the overall story arc was not overly dark. It is a war story, after all.