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Three boys improvise themselves as detectives to investigate a crime that will lead them to delve into one of the darkest periods in history. But what to do if no one is what they seem to be, starting from the victim?• A gripping story linked to an obscure affair from the past, which took place in post-war Rome.The body of Else Cohen, an elderly woman of German origin, is found in the Tiber, near the Tiber Island. After an initial hypothesis of suicide, the police investigation leads to a formal charge of murder against Leo, a boy whom everyone in his neighbourhood calls ‘the fool’ because of his obvious mental retardation. But Leo is not a violent boy. This is well known by Serena, a teenager who lives in the same suburban area isolated from the centre of the city . Serena has no particular sympathy for Leo and, like everyone else, treats him like a ‘fool’ but, in the case of Else’s death, she knows that the boy is not responsible. She stubbornly claims this, but no one listens to her: Leo is the perfect culprit.Serena, however, does not give up and together with two other boys – Marchetto and Cristiano – begins her very own investigation, which starts from the victim’s biography. Who really was Else? Who could have wanted her dead?It is the beginning of a search that leads them to explore Rome, to discover the history of the ghetto and that catapults them into the past, until the final revelation that will definitively exonerate Leo.


Luisa Mattia lives and works in Rome. She has written numerous novels for children and young adults, which have also been translated abroad. Her books have received numerous awards. In 2008, she received the prestigious ‘Andersen Award’ as best writer. She is the author of ‘Melevisione’ and ‘L’albero azzurro’, successful television programmes for children, broadcasted on Rai Yoyo.

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