Everyone Anton Waker grew up with is corrupt. His parents deal in stolen goods and his first career is a partnership venture with his cousin Aria selling forged passports and social security cards to illegal aliens. Anton longs for a less questionable way of living in the world and by his late twenties has reinvented himself as a successful middle manager. Then a routine security check suggests that things are not quite what they appear. And Aria begins blackmailing him to do one last job for her. But the seemingly simple job proves to have profound and unexpected repercussions. As Anton’s carefully constructed life begins to disintegrate around him, he’s forced to choose between loyalty to his family and his desires for a different kind of life. When everyone is willing to use someone else to escape the past, it is up to Anton, on the island of Ischia, to face the ghosts that travel close behind him.
“A tender and astounding tour de force.”
"This is a gripping story, full of moral ambiguities, where deception and betrayal become the norm, and where the expression, 'a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,' is lifted to new heights."
“Her novels are contemporary noir tales full of jagged, splintered edges….Mandel’s talent is clearly visible from the get-go.”