At 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 7, 1926, a woman stepped out of the crowd on Rome’s Campidoglio Square and shot Mussolini at point-blank range. He escaped virtually unscathed. Violet Gibson, who expected to be thanked for her action, was arrested, labeled a “crazy Irish spinster” and a “half-mad mystic”---and promptly forgotten. Now, in an elegant work of reconstruction, Frances Stonor Saunders retrieves this remarkable figure from the lost historical record. In a grand tragic narrative, full of suspense and mystery, conspiracy and back-room diplomacy, she vividly resurrects the life and times of a woman who sought to forestall catastrophe, whatever the cost.