“Full bodied historical fiction. Evocative landscapes and interesting characters.”
-Book Stack Reviews
An Italian anarchist tract writer agrees to murder the sitting monarch of Belgium.
1902 – It is a cold and rainy Saturday morning the 15th of November in Brussels, Belgium. Gennaro Rubino, an Italian anarchist, has traveled incognito to Brussels from London and Paris. In the Belgian capital he plans to assassinate Leopold II, King of the Belgians. Positioning himself on the roof of a building in downtown Brussels, Rubino fires repeatedly at King Leopold’s carriage as the cortege passes by below him returning from a memorial service for King’s deceased wife. Unable to determine whether or not his shots were true, Rubino escapes off of the roof and escapes from Brussels to France.
We find Rubino hiding in Brittany, living with his sister in wooded Saint-Enogat, a hamlet adjoining Dinard, France, a then fashionable seaside resort of stunning cliff top villas, a fabulous casino and a burgeoning art colony favored by American and British aristocrats and European royalty.
And when Rubino learns that Leopold II will be making a stop in Dinard to gamble at the now famous casino he jumps at the chance to finish what was left unfinished that day in Brussels.
The murderer flees to Peru tracked by an imperious Belgian Secret Service detective who sets off to bring the anarchist to justice. Unprepared for a life on the run Rubino treks across Latin America in search of a refuge.
But he makes the mistake of his life by settling in French Guiana and Kourou, the overseas capital of the French colonial penal system and infamous Devil’s Island. (300 pages)