Updated: May 7
By Lisa Scottoline
A Highly Satisfying and Intriguing read
Sicily Italy. Franco Fiorvante dreams of owning his own lemon grove one day. But for now, he labors hard on the estate of Baron Zito. Determined to secure a prosperous future, Franco will do anything to prove his loyalty to the Baron. But when the Baron asks Franco to arrange the kidnapping of a young boy, Franco crosses a point of no return and sets in motion the making of the world's first Mafia family.
Gaetano Catalano is an idealistic young Catholic lawyer totally devoted to justice. He is a member of the Beati Paoli, a real-life secret society of aristocrats who investigate crimes. The Beati Paoli and Gaetano set out to find the young kidnapped boy, but soon Gaetano becomes obsessed with the case. He risks losing his job and family to find the boy and bring him home.
Dante, the five-year-old kidnapped boy, grows up in a madhouse without even knowing his last name. By the time he is a young man, the madhouse is falling apart, and Dante doubts his sanity. He meets Lucia, a girl with a tragic past, and they fall in love. Once Dante is released from his lifelong prison, he sets out to find his kidnapper, his family, and his true identity.
Loyalty is an intriguing historical fiction story of the creation and rise of one of the earliest Mafia families in Sicily. The Fiorvanti family depicted in the book is fictional, but the origins of the Mafia depicted in the novel are true, according to the author Lisa Scottoline. Scottoline says the Mafia’s earliest roots can be traced to the lemon groves around Palermo because of a combination of legal, social, political, and even agricultural factors that existed, all of which are highlighted in the book.
Scottoline novels typically flesh out the relationship between law and justice, and Loyalty is no different. There are several converging and intriguing storylines and a multitude of characters. Each of the characters deeply explores their own form of loyalty to family and to faith. The writing is captivating and makes for a highly satisfying, although slightly challenging read.
Scottoline traveled all over Sicily to research this book. Her vivid descriptions reflect her travel experiences. She had cataloged all of her travels with videos and narrative on her website, which serves as a perfect companion to the book. I encourage anyone who has read or is interested in reading this book to check out her website.
Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Published March 28, 2023