Thursday, March 23, 2023


Loyalty by Lisa Scottoline
3/28/23; 432 pages
G.P. Putnam's Sons

Loyalty by Lisa Scottoline is a highly recommended historical fiction novel depicting the beginning of the Sicilian Mafia in the 19th-century.

In the opening, five-year-old Dante Michangeli is abducted while at the Festival of St. Rosalia with his mother and left in a madhouse. During this same time Franco Fiorvanti manages and works in the lemon grove on the estate of a baron. Any ambition he has is limited by the rigid class system in Sicily. He and his twin brother Roberto Fiorvanti have a money making idea to protect people traveling to the market with their produce, a protection racket that will provide the power and wealth he desires. Dante was kidnapped by Franco at the bequest of the baron but did not kill him as ordered, which changed the history of Sicily. Fifteen years after the kidnapping, local attorney Gaetano Catalano searches for Dante, now 20-years-old.

This is just a small part of the many plot threads, sub-plots, and multiple characters in this expansive action-packed historical thriller. While it took time, patience, and careful concentration to follow all the sub-plots and keep track of the many characters, which made reading take on a slow pace, everything does come together at the end. A list of characters is found at the beginning of the novel, which is very helpful as more and more are introduced. The characters portrayed are memorable, interesting, and come to life.

Loyalty is an epic tale of good versus evil, love, and justice while bringing historical fiction to life. I'm a huge fan of Scottoline's thrillers but not quite as enamored with historical fiction, however, fans of historical crime fiction who appreciate broad stories with many plot threads will enjoy this novel. 

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of G.P. Putnam via NetGalley.

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