Prison Island

(L’isola prigione)

Ottavio Cappellani

‘Sicily descends into civil war. 3 involuntary heroes have to find out what is really happening and why the rest of the world seems not to care.’ Repubblica 

A heinous crime on Catania beach. A young Scandinavian tourist is found dead, torn apart, unrecognizable. So much so that he is thought to have been mauled by a pack of dogs. But the police investigations reveal a shocking, absurd, unacceptable truth: the prints on the young man’s body are produced by human teeth, belonging to a single individual, endowed with unimaginable strength. And a few hours later, on live television, a reporter is mauled in the same way …
In the first few days, the shocking news is followed by an inexplicable silence. Panic spreads on the island, the phobia of the presence of “cannibals” causes unrest. The army intervenes – indeed the armies – but it is not clear to defend who from whom, or from what; there is talk of civil war, but again no one knows who against whom. The population is “invited” to evacuate the island. And for those who decide to stay, there is only fear. It is in this dramatic scenario that the three protagonists of this novel are destined to meet: Michela, a beautiful, restless and lonely forester; Gabriele, an aspiring documentary filmmaker looking for a sensational story; Turuzzieddu, a Sicilian boy, who heard the power of the “monsters” in the death cries of his parents. None of them know how much courage they will have to show, nobody suspects that love and trust will prove to be the only chances of survival. But all three, as they flee and try to stay alive, find themselves on a journey: in search of humanity and for meaning. They will have to accept that power, the need to control men and matter, may be the very thing that led to that madness.

Sales: Mondadori Italy, 408pp