Memory of the Abyss by Marcello Fois
When Samuele Stocchino is two years old the village sage can already see a heart shaped like a wolf's head beating in his breast: the heart of a murderer. As a colonial soldier in Northern Africa, recruited from one subject land to subdue another, the sixteen-year-old Stocchino learns to kill before he has learned to love, and it is a skill he hones to perfection on the pitiless battlefields of the Corso Front in the Great War. Returning to Sardinia a hero to a pauper's welcome, he finds his family swindled and his sweetheart stolen away by the richest clan in the region, and from one first crime of passion a bitter feud is born. Stocchino terrorizes his wealthy neighbours and anyone who dares to till their land until, with Italy now firmly under Mussolini's boot, his elimination becomes Il Duce's priority. As he continues to elude capture, the seeds of myth are sown and the legend of Samuele Stocchino is forged. Shrouded by mystery and portent, Memory of the Abyss is a stirring fusion of myth, history and fiction, a daring re-imagining of the true story of a notorious Sardinian bandit and a deft excavation of the island's cultural roots by one of Italy's most gifted and celebrated writers.