Sasso by James Sturz
© 2002-2017
Set in Italy

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Set in Mancanzano
Matera (Basilcata)
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JAMES STURZ is a freelance journalist, born and based in New York. After graduating from Cornell in 1987, he taught English in Bologna, and then spent three years on staff at Vanity Fair. He has written for more than fifty newspapers and magazines, often specializing in Italian politics, culture and travel for such publications as The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, The New Republic, Travel & Leisure and Boston Magazine. Sasso is his first novel.

James Sturz


JACKET NOTES:  In the small town of Mancanzano, buried deep in the Italian south, a teenage couple is found dead. Hidden away in one of the labyrinthine caves that surround the town, their naked young bodies are perfect except for mysterious lacerations across their faces, the result of frenzied gnawing at the underground walls.

As police puzzle over the deaths, a team of four experts arrives in Italy to investigate the breathtaking frescoes revealed by the teenagers' bloodied mouths. But when another couple is found, and then another, it becomes clear that the tragedy which brought them there was only the beginning - and as the outsiders become immersed in the odd daily life of Mancanzano, they soon find they are unable to leave. Weeks, then months pass, and as the intense heat of the Italian summer descends, it seems the irresistible atmosphere of the deadly town has them all in its thrall...

Sasso is an astonishing first novel which combines erotically vivid writing with an unforgettably intense thriller.
(© Century)