Five-year-old Dante, son of a wealthy family, is kidnapped from the town square in 1810 Palermo, Sicily, but the corrupt local police refuse to investigate. Gaetano Catalano, a young lawyer and member of the Beati Paoli, a secret society of aristocrats who work in the name of Saint Paul, decides to look for the child – in a search that consumes him for decades.
Meanwhile, power-hungry Franco Fiorvanti, the lemon grower who orchestrated Dante’s kidnapping at his boss’s behest, is tired of working for others. Franco dreams of owning his own orchard and invites his twin Roberto to work alongside of him. The two, along with a host of men who swear blood oaths to them begin to offer protection to orchard owners, becoming what we know today as the “Mafia.”
Set against the backdrop of a mostly lawless Sicily over two decades and starring a wide cast of characters whose lives are upended by the Fiorvanti’s family’s ruthlessness, Loyalty by Lisa Scottoline is well-written historical fiction to savor. This novel about heartbreak, loss, revenge and justice is a departure from Scottoline’s legal thrillers but contains all the trademarks her fans love, including interesting characters, the overarching theme of good versus evil, and a satisfying ending. Place your hold today and prepare to be swept away to another time and place.