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The West has never been so scary.

One dark dawn in November 1851, after a seven-month-long journey, the settlers arrive in what will become Seattle. Hope, happiness and desperation blend with the rain that soaks them to the bone. Into this community of willing men and women, little Ambrosius Goodwill is born. His childhood passes happily until, at the age of four, playing in the woods, the boy disappears. He doesn’t come home for a week. The forest is combed inch by inch to no avail, and the Journey of Knowledge undertaken by the great Indian shaman to find some trace of the boy provides no reassurances. Then, one stormy day, Goodwill reappears on the doorstep. But he’s no longer the carefree child he was before: he doesn’t seem to suffer from hunger or cold, nor to get tired or feel emotions. And when tragedies start occurring in Seattle, affecting the whole community, word is that it’s the boy himself who has brought the misfortune...

  • Can you love a monster? Often, we latch onto pleasant memories, a delicate touch on the face, a hug, to enable us to close our eyes to the atrocities...
  • "A dark western thriller that’s right up there with the greatest international masters of the genre. Mighty writing that grabs you by the throat on the first page, dragging you into a vivid and coherent world." - Giuseppe Festa
  • The (standalone) prequel of the graphic novel Mercy, written by Mirka Andolfo, sold in 18 countries around the world and which became a best-seller in America.
GENRE Horror, Western, Historical
FIRST PUBLISHER Piemme (Italy), 2022


Manlio wrote and directed his first short film before he had graduated. He then began to collaborate with the Giffoni festival and was its deputy artistic director for a decade, until 2018 when he made his debut as a novelist with the bestselling Petrademone saga (Mondadori). He continues to churn out books and was shortlisted for the Strega Children’s Prize in 2021 with La notte delle Malombre (The Night of the Malombre), Mondadori.