Cover Reveal: ‘The Man in Milan’ by Vito Racanelli

2020 is shaping up to be a huge year for incredible debut authors, a list that includes Chris Hauty, Don Bentley, and this summer, Vito Racanelli—whose riveting first novel, The Man in Milan, rockets into bookstores on July 14th. 

When two NYPD detectives take on a murder case, the last place they’d ever expect the clues to lead them is towards one of the most horrific aviation crime in Italian history, but that’s exactly what happens in Racanelli’s page-turning debut . . .

Check out the official plot details and cover art below, followed by exclusive comments from Racanelli are where he found the inspiration to write The Man in Milan


The Man in MilanFor fans of Daniel Silva and David Baldacci comes a gripping thriller based on real-world events that will have you riveted until the final page is turned.

When NYPD detectives Paul Rossi and Hamilton P. Turner begin investigating the Sutton Place murder of an Italian air force pilot, the last thing they expect is that they will and find themselves sucked into the potential cover-up of the Ustica massacre, the most horrific aviation crime in Italian history, in which all 81 souls on board perished, where Italian President Francesco Cossiga blamed a missile deployed by the French Navy for the disaster.

But as they begin investigating, Rossi, recovering from a broken marriage, and Turner, an African-American opera buff, poet, and former lawyer with ambitions to be mayor, come up against NYPD bureaucratic obstacles and stonewalling by the Italian Consulate in NYC. Lieutenant Laura Muro, the policewoman sister of the victim, comes to New York to aid the investigation, but soon the trio finds themselves in the crosshairs of the Gladio, Italy’s powerful, shadowy political cabal whose reach extends to the highest reaches of New York political and ruling class.

From New York to Italy, Rossi, Turner, and Muro must uncover the shocking truth about one of the most notorious disasters in airline history, and how this infamous act ties to the present-day murder. Riveting, erudite, and surprising at every turn, THE MAN IN MILAN announces a major new voice in international thriller fiction.



“Though Itavia Flight 870 crashed in 1980,” said Racanelli to The Real Book Spy, “it was still regularly in the news during the time I spent in Italy as AP-Dow Jones bureau chief in the mid-90s, simply because 81 people had died and, after more than a decade and many investigations, there still was no explanation. Of course, there were (and are) plenty of theories in the land of Machiavelli.”

“As the circumstances dribbled out, no May Day and quick descent, I became fascinated by what increasingly looked like a cover-up. (Indeed, it happened again recently in Iran.) What transpired that awful night of June 27, 1980, remains an enigma, shrouded by governments dragging their feet. These were the Cold War years and in Italy the “anni di piombo,” or The Years of Lead, when the Red Brigades and various fascist organizations were robbing banks, kidnapping, and shooting in the streets.”

No one seemed to want to get to the bottom of it then–or now. Over a decade after, the Italian government finally raised the fuselage from the ocean depths, when it was far too late for any clues to be useful. No one has “claimed” responsibility.

As I dug into the circumstances, things got curiouser and curiouser. Turns out that American and French jet fighters were active that night in the area of Itavia Flight 870 to Palermo. Libyan dictator Ghaddafi was also in the air very near.  Days after the crash, a Libyan fighter plane was found downed in Sicily.  Both the plane and the dead pilot were rushed back to Libya without so much as a whisper from the government.  I decided to fill in the blanks—with fiction.”

readers excited to see how Racanelli filled in those blanks can now pre-order The Man in Milan here, or anywhere else books are sold. 



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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