Blood Washes Blood by Frank Viviano
A True Story of Love, Murder, and Redemption Under the Sicilian Sun

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Against the sweeping backdrop of western Sicily, seasoned reporter Frank Viviano pieces together his own harrowing family legacy of betrayal and redemption -- and the truth behind a murder mystery and conspiracy of silence that spans four generations. His riveting seven-year quest is haunted, from cryptic beginning to stunning end, by an ancient Sicilian proverb, "Lu sangu lava lu sangu," "Blood washes blood": the torrent of unforgiving vengeance that flows from an unforgivable offense. More than a century ago, Viviano's namesake and great-great grandfather, Francesco Viviano, was shot to death at a lonely rural crossroad in Sicily. He had been a revolutionary and a thief, a legendary bandit who traveled by night in the robes of a friar. Sicilians called him "the Monk." Six months before his death in 1993, Viviano's ninety-six-year-old grandfather whispered to him the name of the Monk's killer: "Domenico Valenti." A name he had never heard before. A name that meant nothing to him. Pursued by the demons of his own rootless life as a foreign correspondent, Viviano journeys to his family's ancestral village in Sicily. He sets out to unlock the mystery that killed the Monk and drove his family to America. But from his first day there, he is confronted by a maze of other interlocked mysteries, where everything -- names, identities, motives -- falls under the same enigmatic veil as his grandfather's final words to him. The search eventually carries Viviano deep into the shadowy Sicilian netherworld, to the cataclysmic origins of the Mafia and the labyrinth of codes, blood feuds, family loyalties, and impenetrable silences that have defined the island's tortured historyfor a thousand years. Until past and present finally merge into a single story with a shattering climax. A gripping family epic and relentless detective narrative, "Blood Washes Blood" is a deeply personal odyssey into the tangled roots of power, violence, and ultimately love. It holds a mirror to the past and, for one man, changes the way he views his family's evocative history, as well as himself.

About Frank Viviano

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Frank Viviano, at-large foreign correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle, has covered events ranging from the fall of Marcos in the Philippines and the Tiananmen Square crackdown to the collapse of the Soviet Union, civil wars in Nicaragua, the Caucasus, Bosnia, and Kosovo, and organized crime in Europe, Central Asia, and China. His articles have appeared in more than two hundred newspapers and magazines internationally. A two-time recipient of the World Affairs Council's Thomas Storke Award for Achievements in International Reporting, he is the author of six previous nonfiction books.
Published January 1, 2001 by Century Books. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Non-fiction

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He met the revered prosecutor Judge Falcone (who seemed to “direct his own murder trial from the grave”) and his nemesis Toto Riina (a vicious Don who murdered the entire families of the pentiti, or testifying mobsters).

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Publishers Weekly

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In a land steeped in family tradition, the rootless Viviano (a foreign correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle) looks to uncover a family secret: how his great-great-grandfather, a man mysteriously known as "the Monk," was gunned down at a crossroads in rural Sicily more than a century earl...

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