Coming in Hardcover March 28, 2023
#1 best-selling author Lisa Scottoline delivers Loyalty, an emotional, action-packed epic of love and justice, set during the rise of the Mafia in Sicily.
Loyalty can save a soul, or destroy one.
Franco Fiorvanti is a handsome lemon grower toiling on the estate of a baron. He dreams of owning his own grove, but the rigid class system of Sicily thwarts his ambition. Determined to secure a better future, Franco will do anything to prove his loyalty to the baron. But when the baron asks him to kidnap a little boy named Dante, Franco makes a decision that will change his life — and even the history of Sicily — forever.
Gaetano Catalano is an idealistic young lawyer whose devotion to justice is tantamount to a calling. He’s a member of the Beati Paoli, a real-life secret society of aristocrats who investigate crime in Palermo, a city riddled with graft. Gaetano sets out to find the boy and punish the kidnapper, but his mission leads him to a darker place than he had ever imagined.
Meanwhile, Mafalda Pancari is a new mother rejoicing at the birth of her daughter Lucia, when disaster strikes. And Alfredo D’Antonio is a goatherd living as a hermit, under constant threat of being discovered as a Jew.
This cast of unforgettable characters collides in this epic tale of good versus evil, as Loyalty twists and turns to its monumental showdown. Readers will be transported to the dramatic and ruggedly beautiful island of Sicily, the jewel of the Mediterranean, where lush lemon groves and mouth-watering cuisine contrast with a turbulent history of colonization and corruption. Scottoline brings her decades of thriller writing to historical fiction, creating in Loyalty a singular novel that no reader will be able to put down.
“Scottoline brings nineteenth-century Sicily alive in this historical thriller with fairy-tale themes, revenge quests, and compelling heroes reminiscent of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. Every scene is a full sensory experience, as Scottoline weaves lemon-scented breezes, the ocean’s sounds, and sun-baked piazza stones into a timeless, tragedy-strewn story of love, power, and redemption. History fans will appreciate the novel’s well-researched foundation, especially concerning the origins of the Sicilian Mafia and early mental-health institutions.”
“Scottoline brings her characters to life, instilling them with wit and intellect as they navigate the corruption of Sicily’s law enforcement. Historical crime fiction fans will be riveted.”
“A powerful, poignant exploration about the rise of the Mafia in Sicily, Lisa Scottoline’s Loyalty is a gripping, compulsively readable tale of courage, loyalty, family secrets, and the price of honor. An unputdownable piece of historical fiction that puts Scottoline’s talent for writing twisty plots and unforgettable characters on full display.”
—Kristin Hannah, author of The Four Winds
“I haven’t read a story set in Sicily that was this good since Giuseppe Di Lampedusa’s amazing novel The Leopard. The reader knows when an author’s heart is in their writing, and Lisa Scottoline’s heart and soul is in Loyalty. Historical fiction, when it’s good, is a time machine, carrying us back to a vanished world that we can inhabit for awhile. Loyalty does that and more—it’s a magic carpet ride that will transform us and stay with us. A beautifully written tale, wonderfully told by a master storyteller..”
—Nelson DeMille, author of The Maze
“A gripping, up-all-night novel of power and vengeance in a violent and beautiful land. Loyalty finds Lisa Scottoline on new turf—and firing on all cylinders. Her versatility as a writer knows no bounds.”
—Daniel Silva, author of Portrait of an Unknown Woman
“This brilliantly-told story about the rise of the Mafia is an unforgettable saga of the powers of corruption and courage, injustice and honor, family secrets, loyalty, and love set against the evocative backdrop of Sicily. Scottoline deftly explores the darkest passions and the deepest compassion of human nature in a fabulously twisty historical thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.”
—Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Postmistress of Paris
“The enormously talented Lisa Scottoline took a beautiful leap into historical fiction with 2021’s Eternal, one of my favorite novels of that year. And now, almost impossibly, she has outdone herself with Loyalty, a heart-pounding, emotional thrill ride through Sicily, tracing the tragic, violent dawn of the Mafia with the finesse of a storyteller born to breathe life into Italy’s hidden tales. In a world so well-drawn you can almost taste the lemon-scented night air, the plump green olives, the goat cheese from the mountains, and the fish fresh from the cerulean sea, she brings to life a motley cast of brilliantly drawn characters, including a kidnapped boy raised in a madhouse, a reclusive cheesemaker with a secret, a lawyer with a divine calling, a girl so luminous she seems to embody light itself, and two twin brothers whose winding road to power is soaked with the blood of innocent men. Loyalty is a beautiful, bold, and brilliant masterpiece that, in the spirit of The Godfather, reminds us of the perils of blind allegiance, the consequences of betrayal, and the lengths to which one will go for family. A breathtaking tour de force.”
—Kristin Harmel, author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars
“Loyalty is a wonderfully atmospheric and operatic tale about the origins of the mafia in the wake of Sicily’s crumbling feudal system. Power loves a vacuum, and this book’s most ambitious characters step right in at the peril of their own souls. At heart, though, this is an earthy novel, the vivid details of which make you smell the sweet lemon groves, feel the salty sea spray on your cheeks, and taste the pasta, pistachios and rich cheeses of Sicily. With a tangled plot of child kidnapping and brotherly revenge that unravels for a gripping and entertaining finale, we glimpse the terrible consequences of inequality–from the superstition, prejudice and poverty of the peasantry to the “might makes right” ethos of a corrupted and undemocratic political system. Brava!”
—Stephanie Dray, author of The Women of Chateau Lafayette
“A poignant, masterfully-crafted epic novel set in Sicily during the rise of the Mafia, Loyalty places unforgettable characters on a collision course, as ambition and the quest for power threaten the bonds of family, society, justice, and love. Rich with intrigue and secrets, tension and tenderness (not to mention the intoxicating scent of lemon groves!), this is Lisa Scottoline at her best!”
—Jennifer Rosner, author of The Yellow Bird Sings and Once We Were Home