JACKET NOTES: 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 history for 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.