Book club book review – Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan


Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, the USA Today and #1 Amazon Charts bestseller Beneath a Scarlet Sky is the triumphant, epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience during one of history’s darkest hours.

Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.

In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers, one of the Third Reich’s most mysterious and powerful commanders.

Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation by fighting in secret, his courage bolstered by his love for Anna and for the life he dreams they will one day share.

Fans of All the Light We Cannot See, The Nightingale, and Unbroken will enjoy this riveting saga of history, suspense, and love.

My Review

I fell a little bit in love with Pino Lella while reading this. He starts of quite a cocksure young boy flirting with the girls and trying to win them over with his cheeky charm. But then war comes to Italy and I watched him turn into a brave and resilient man who turns spy, putting himself constantly in incredible danger.

This book taught me so much and made me feel a whole range of emotions. It made me smile with joy as Pino ski’s with a pregnant lady on his back and weep with horror at the atrocities he witnesses. The author doesn’t shy away from the brutality of war instead he opens your eyes to it while also showing glimpses of how wonderful other humans can be. The worst times can often bring out the best in people. As for the enemies the author portrays them as the monsters they are but also gives us rare moments that show they are capable of being human too.

The only other book regarding war that captured me so completely was Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. They both encompass love and romance in amongst the brutal death and destruction brought on by war.

I’m so glad the author included what happened to them all at the end as I had come to care deeply and this also led to a few shocks including the fateful Pan Am flight.

This was February’s book club choice at Novels&Natter and because we pick the book in advance we had no idea of the unfortunate timing and that war would become major news while we were reading it. For some it made the book a difficult read but we all still loved it.

About the author

Mark Sullivan is the acclaimed author of eighteen novels, including the #1 Kindle bestselling Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and the #1 New York Times bestselling Private series, which he writes with James Patterson. Mark has received numerous awards for his writing, including the WHSmith Fresh Talent Award, and his works have been named a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. He grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts, and graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in English before working as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. Upon his return to the United States, he earned a graduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and began a career in investigative journalism. An avid skier and adventurer, he lives with his wife in Bozeman, Montana, where he remains grateful for the miracle of every moment.

Link to buy