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Beneath the Mountain

A Novel
Narrated by: Charles Constant
Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Luca D'Andrea's atmospheric and brilliant thriller, set in a small mountain community in the majestic Italian Dolomites, an outsider must uncover the truth about a triple murder that has gone unsolved for 30 years.

New York City native Jeremiah Salinger is one half of a hot-shot documentary-making team. He and his partner, Mike, made a reality show about roadies that skyrocketed them to fame. But now Salinger's left that all behind, to move with his wife, Annelise, and young daughter, Clara, to the remote part of Italy where Annelise grew up - the Alto Adige.

Nestled in the Dolomites, this breathtaking, rural region that was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire remains more Austro than Italian. Locals speak a strange, ancient dialect - Ladino - and root for Germany (against Italy) in the world cup. Annelise's small town - Siebenhoch - is close-knit to say the least and does not take kindly to out-of-towners. When Salinger decides to make a documentary about the mountain rescue group, the mission goes horribly awry, leaving him the only survivor. He blames himself, and so - it seems - does everyone else in Siebenhoch. Spiraling into a deep depression, he begins having terrible, recurrent nightmares. Only his little girl, Clara, can put a smile on his face.

But when he takes Clara to the Bletterbach Gorge - a canyon rich in fossil remains - he accidentally overhears a conversation that gives his life renewed focus. In 1985, three students were murdered there, their bodies savaged, limbs severed and strewn by a killer who was never found. Although Salinger knows this is a tightlipped community, one where he is definitely persona non grata, he becomes obsessed with solving this mystery and is convinced it is all that can keep him sane. And as Salinger unearths the long kept secrets of this small town one by one, the terrifying truth is eventually revealed about the horrifying crime that marked an entire village.

Completely engrossing and deeply atmospheric, Beneath the Mountain is a thriller par excellence.

©2018 Luca D'Andrea (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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Excellet Narration - Unusual Story

It took a couple of chapters for me to get into this book. I thought at first that there was too much meandering going through details that seemed irrelevant to the story. But I was patient and kept going. Eventually everything tied together and I understood why the author laid things out the way he did. The story takes place in northern Italy, where the people speak German. The narrator did a marvelous job with a German accent, and the unique voices for the many characters in the book. The motive for the crime which is the topic of the book, seemed to have been made clear several times, but then changed. Every time it seemed that all the facts had come out, and the culprit had been exposed, things turned upside down, and the facts were not at all what they had seemed to be. I thought that this book was unusual - it is unlike anything I have ever read before. Somewhat strange, but intriguing, written in first person, a lot of time was spent on developing the characters and exposing their individual histories. I needed a lot of patience to get through this book. It is not the kind of book that goes straight through to the solving of the crime. Many side trips are taken - interesting ones though. The author writes almost as though this was a diary, filled with his emotions, reactions, motivations, and demons.