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Loyalty

Review

Loyalty

Lisa Scottoline is a multi-genre novelist. With a light, direct style, she manages to tell complicated stories that also deliver thrills, romance and historical facts all in one highly entertaining book. LOYALTY, her second historical novel following ETERNAL, does not disappoint.

Franco Fiorvanti dreams of becoming an agricultural baron in his native Sicily. When the present-day baron he works for asks him to kidnap a young boy named Dante, he does so --- a decision that has devastating consequences for the people and the literal history of Sicily.

In Palermo, Gaetano Catalano works as a lawyer and belongs to the Beati Paoli, a secret society of aristocrats who try to unravel the many injustices and criminal activities in their corrupt town. He takes up the baton to find Dante.

"LOYALTY is an unforgettable piece of historical fiction. It’s exciting and moving, and these characters will soon become like family to each reader. An A+++ reading experience."

Malfalda Pancari is a new mother embroiled in a tragic situation. When an accident at sea rips apart her fishing village, she becomes the focus of great wrath.

Alfredo D’Antonio is Italian but also a Jew. It’s a secret that he must keep in order to stay a functioning member of his society.

Scottoline’s latest masterpiece is about loyalty, both good and bad, how it helps and how it hurts justice and freedom for all the Sicilian people. As the Mafia’s non-benevolent arm reaches to affect everyone’s lives, our protagonists must engage in a fight between good and evil in order to resolve their difficulties and live in some semblance of peace again.

With the backdrop of Sicily, the groves of fruit, the beautiful coastline and the fantastic cuisine, LOYALTY concocts a thrilling premise that lassoes various storylines and pulls them into a tight-knit, compelling novel that you won’t be able to put down. There is no way, with Scottoline’s streamlined style, that any one part of the book could get boring or weigh too heavily on the plot. She creates a balanced, tantalizing world that is hard to wrest yourself out of once you are in it.

Even though most Mafia stories highlight the devastating gory aspects of the organization’s dealings, there is more psychological, behavioral and social import in the way they act in this book. Nineteenth-century Italian culture is a fascinating dive, and Scottoline wrests from history every interesting detail she can. Having done extensive research in Sicily itself, she uses her experience as an attorney to underscore the ways in which national identity and the balance of justice are shortchanged by the nefarious work of those who use it for their own needs instead of the needs of the many. She creates a good versus evil story that resonates like no other, with original characters and a place that teems with a remarkable depth of culture.

LOYALTY is an unforgettable piece of historical fiction. It’s exciting and moving, and these characters will soon become like family to each reader. An A+++ reading experience.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on March 28, 2023

Loyalty
by Lisa Scottoline