Immerse yourself in a sweeping family saga spanning decades and including many famous names, including Benito Mussolini and King Victor Immanuel II.

In New York Times bestselling author Kent Heckenlively's fiction debut, The King of Italy, we first meet Vincenzo Nicosia as a young boy in Sicily, watching as his father is sent to jail for nearly beating a man to death. The person he blames more than anybody else for this is Alessandro de Leone, the Duke du Taormina, and the illegitimate son of King Victor Immanuel II, the unifier of Italy in the 1870s.
Vincenzo is approached by Benito Mussolini as part of his plan to take control in Italy, which involves dealing justice to the long-hated Duke. After completing his part of the plan, Vincenzo is betrayed by Mussolini and forced to flee to America.
In San Francisco, far away from the troubles in Italy, Vincenzo struggles to forget his past and forge a new life as a builder. But the past never stays buried, as Vincenzo’s violent nature reasserts itself as new challenges arise.
As World War II begins, Vincenzo’s nephew, Alex, volunteers for the army. Vincenzo tells Alex, “It’s your mission to kill Mussolini and avenge your family.”
Alex attempts to fulfill his uncle’s plan and nearly succeeds. But at the end of the war Alex is swept into Italian politics as the country struggles to recover from devastation. Alex may hold the future of Italy in his hands. However, the truth he finds could destroy the new life his uncle Vincenzo has made for himself in America.
The King of Italy is a stunning historical novel, filled with passion, violence, and political intrigue, that you won’t be able to put down until the last page.