The Man In Milan

Mysterious Book Report No. 422

by John Dwaine McKenna

An execution-style murder of an Italian air force officer and diplomat on Sutton Place —in one of New York City’s most expensive mid-Manhattan neighborhoods—begins author Vito Rancanelli’s electrifying new thriller entitled, The Man in Milan, (Polis Books, $26.99, 336 pages, ISBN 978-1-951709-11-1).

As NYPD Detective Paul Rossi and his partner, Detective Hamilton P. Turner investigate however, they’re pulled ever-deeper into an intriguing and sinister plot with political overtones and roots that go back decades . . . to the worst air disaster in Italian history.  Eighty-one souls were lost when an airline crashed on the island of Ustica, between the shin of Italy and the island of Sicily, in June of 1980.  The cause of the crash has never been determined, but foul play may have occurred, because Russian-backed Libyan MiG fighters, French Mirages, as well as NATO and Italian warplanes were all in the same airspace at the time.  It’s suspected that a crime may have been committed and covered up . . . but no one knows for certain . . . because the Italian Government continues to investigate but still hasn’t determined a cause, more than twenty years after the crash.  And the man who was assassinated in NYC?  His name was Gaetano Muro, and he was flying an Italian fighter jet in the melee where the ill-fated airliner went down.

Trying to fit together the pieces of an insanely complex puzzle Rossi and Turner are thwarted by the NYPD bureaucracy and stonewalled, obfuscated and misled by the Italian Consulate in New York City.  The two detectives are joined by Gaetano Muro’s sister Laura, a policewoman from Italy who comes to America to claim her brother’s body and return it to the old country for burial.  And that’s when another element known as the Gladio, a powerful and shadowy Italian political cabal whose tentacles extend all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to the innermost circles of New York’s political, social and ruling classes steps in to try and prevent the Sutton Place murder from ever being solved.

Based in part on actual events, The Man in Milan is stuffed full of action, intrigue and enough plot twists to satisfy Niccolo Machiavelli himself, and announces the arrival of a major new talent in thriller fiction.  Read it for yourself and see why the MBR is calling it one of the best first novels we’ve seen in quite some time!


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