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The Curse of Pietro Houdini

The Curse of Pietro Houdini by Derek B. Miller

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By Derek B. Miller

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We will lie, cheat, steal, fight, sin… Whatever it takes to survive.

The bombing of Rome in 1943 leaves fourteen-year-old Massimo orphaned and with no choice but to set out on a journey to discover any remaining relatives in Naples. A chance meeting with the mysterious and charismatic Pietro Houdini will deliver both of them to the doors of the abbey of Monte Cassino, a centuries-old haven of contemplation, learning and art. But war has no time for such niceties and before long the abbey is threatened by the relentless Allied advance. In the face of the coming cataclysm, Pietro and Massimo must do what they can to save the monastery’s priceless art from oblivion.

To do so, they must learn to dissemble, to disguise, to outwit, all skills that evidently Pietro has in spades, but as their cherished haven edges ever closer to war, 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, perfect for fans of All the Light We Cannot See, City of Lies and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

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