5 Stars By Boxer Dog Lover in Vermont... on 2017-04-01
~~Action/Courage/Resilience - set in Italy during WW II~~
A Kindle First selection that is masterfully written with complex characters and heart-pounding scenes. It takes place in Italy -'the forgotten front'- during WW II and the reader is drawn into a web of intrigue. Pino Lello, 17 years of age, is wise beyond his years and intelligent, as well. It is a gripping story of resilience, the indomitable spirit of a young man that knew no boundaries and courage that sustained him during dark hours.
When reading the first portion, I was wondering if (and how) this intense pace would continue. The climbing scenes through the mountains gave me a real shot of adrenaline. I felt as though I was one of the climbers and not a reader. This is also when the echoes of 'Nessun Dorma' were played with such passion. For me, this is one of the underlying themes in the story - 'none shall sleep'. And, Pino Lello has taken that to heart for the remainder of this story.
The action intensified throughout the remainder of the book, and one is allowed a rare glimpse into the mind of Il Duce - Benito Mussolini - plus the inner workings of the German High Command. Becoming a driver for Major General Hans Leyer allows Pino access to a man that is two steps from the Fuhrer. Pino Lello witnesses atrocities he wishes he could forget but keeps soldiering on...wisely...
Just a gripping and harrowing Kindle First selection which I feel is the best one I have read. Full of action and suspense which will keep you on the edge of your seat for the duration.
Most highly recommended.
Please note that this is my Kindle First selection for April 2017.
5 Stars By Kindle Customer on 2017-04-02
Don't start this one late in the day!
I cannot add more to the excellent reviews previously posted other than to say I read this book in one sitting not being able to put it down until 4:00 AM! It gripped me emotionally and I'm still thinking about it the next day. Rarely does even a good book have the depth and character development than this one did. I will be looking for more from this amazing author!
5 Stars By Damian Slattery on 2017-04-01
Sullivan's Pinnacle of Storytelling
I've read nearly every word Mark Sullivan has ever published - so I can say with authority that this work, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, stands as the ultimate fusion of his Pulitzer-nominated journalistic skills and his mastery of the thriller genre, which he's honed at the keyboard he sometimes shares with James Patterson. He takes us deep inside the love story of his discovery, the unknown hero, Pino Lella, and he crafts an epic tale set against the backdrop of Nazi-occupied Milan and the Italian Alps during World War II that is as intimate and tragic as it is thought-provoking and triumphant. Every page, every step crackles. Each twist, rooted in years of first-class reporting, shocks you anew. Through Sullivan's gripping cast of characters, the unreality and brutality of war meets its match in the guts and wits and soul of Pino Lella, his family, his friends and cohorts. This heretofore untold story has been etched in my heart and mind with a telling that is equally cinematic and literary. With this, perhaps his masterwork, Sullivan has reached a pinnacle in storytelling - and readers everywhere, like me, will be better for living it through his words. Of course, it is Pino Lella we must also praise and thank - for what he did with his young life, his uncommon bravery, his story and letting Sullivan share it with us. I wish I could read it again for the first time.
5 Stars By Sarah Hodeib on 2017-04-29
A captivating book!
An amazing epic story of Pino Lella, a true war hero whose story was forgotten and marginalized by history. Based on true events occurring in Italy during WWII, Sullivan skillfully brings to life an enthralling period of the past to the contemporary reader and awakens our curiousity to some of the actual happenings in Italy in the last days of the war. Well researched and written, the book is a must-read to all historical fiction fans.
5 Stars By jc norton on 2017-12-16
This is an astounding piece of writing, revealing an aspect of WWII about which I, at least, knew almost nothing. The fact that it was written based heavily on personal interviews with the main character adds immensely to its credibility and the afterword, revealing as it does what happened to this remarkable man after the story ends, was utterly fascinating. What a life. Anyone with even a passing interest in WWII will enjoy and learn from this book and if one had no interest in the war at all, the story is so remarkable that it is impossible not to be drawn into it. Absolutely first rate. I write some myself and am humbled by this work. Thank you, Mr. Sullivan
5 Stars By pam mc d on 2017-12-11
Happy I Read This Book!
This book is well-worth your time to read. It is set in WWII Milan, Italy. Although fiction, the book is based on real people of the time and real events. It was an eye-opener to me what the people went through to survive the Hitler invasion and the eventual complete over-taking of the city and its economy. The main character finds himself helping in the war effort, first as a guide to help Jews escape the country and then as a driver for a top man in Hitler's regime which put him in an excellent position to spy for the Alllies. The intriguing part is Pino was a real person who actually did these things when he was a teenager. Beneath A Scarlet Sky is a spy-thriller with an element of romance and a tribute to the Italian people who, although living in severe hardship, didn't falter to help others in need. This book had an effect on me that will stay with me a long time, perhaps forever.
5 Stars By Ariel D on 2017-12-15
What a great read!
This is the book I am coming back to, about to reread because it touched me in so many ways. I do that sometimes—read and read again, because under the plot line are so many more messages about life and living and doing what is right.
This is the book I want to give to my teenage grandchildren, because the younger generation need to know what courage can do in the face of impossible odds.
This is a book about hope, even hope in an impossible juxtaposition against great evil.
This is a book that stays with a person long after the last word is read, for this is a book that changes its reader.
5 Stars By deborah burwick on 2017-12-14
An historical novel that tells an angst filled story about the tragedies of war and lost love.
I love stories about WWll. I'm not sure why because they contain so much heartache and tribulation. This story is no exception. Pino lived to tell about so much destruction and loss of life, and he witnessed all of that before he was even 20 years old. They say history repeats itself. I'm so hoping I don't have to ever see such awful events in my lifetime. But anyone who is informed should be able to see that those monsters from WWll still live on today in the form of one G.S......BHO....and others. Scary world we live in!
5 Stars By DebNev on 2017-04-24
This was a real page turner. I could hardly put the book down once I started reading. What made it even better was that the story was about a real person during WWII. When you think of that time frame, you usually think of Germany, France, Austria, Poland, or Holland. You rarely think of what the Italians had to go through. It was an eye opener.
5 Stars By D. A. Campbell on 2017-04-30
WOW,...what a story
I finished this book a few days ago and couldn't compel an erudite review, many said it better than I could ever hope to pen...I was so moved by the experience of Pino and so grateful that these events happened before I was born... Who of us can say what we would do during these times!...thank you to Pino for your courage, Thank you to Mark Sullivan for your integrity in bringing this untold story to life and light!
I was moved to horror, elation and tears and at times had ti stop reading in order to digest my vicarious experience... This is a story that will stay with me, as long as I see in my minds eye the souls who jumped from the Twin Towers on 9/11...May humanity learn from it!