Like "Band of Brothers" or "Unbroken," "Beneath a Scarlet Sky" is one of those books that reveals a heretofore undiscovered genuine World War II hero. In this case it is 17-year-old Pino Lella of Milan, Italy, who dares to rescue Jews from the grasp of the Gestapo and smuggle them through the dangerous escape route over the Alps into Switzerland. Further, Pino becomes an undercover operative for the Italian Resistance by working right under the Germans' noses as the personal driver for Nazi Major General Hans Leyers, who is responsible only to Hitler himself. Pino experiences every kind of danger and risk you might imagine taking place in war-torn Italy. Based on a firsthand account told to author Mark Sullivan, this marvelous adventure of the horrors and heartbreaks of war is a compelling read not to be missed.
Extraordinary! You won't want to put this book down. I read a lot of WWII fiction, but I had never read a book from the Italian point of view. Though this is a work of fiction, it is based on the true story. Don't forget to read the aftermath section at the end. It really puts the story into perspective when the author, Mark Sullivan, discusses the interviews he had with Pino Lella, the main character, and the investigation and research he did about what happened to the characters after the war ended. This book will stick with you. It reminded me to help others in the face of peril and to live life con smania (with passion).