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Bella Mafia

Bella Mafia

by Lynda La Plante

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
BBC writer La Plante's hefty first novel initially daunts with a surfeit of minor characters and confusing Mafia business connections--but is redeemed by the emergence of strong major characters and a plot offering a stark view of the dark bonds of power. Don Roberto Luciano, boss of the Sicilian Mafia, agrees to be chief witness in the trial of Paul Carolla, who murdered Luciano's firstborn son, Michael, 20 years ago. Despite round-the-clock protection, all the Luciano men are killed the night before a family wedding. The don's wife, Graziella, holds together what's left of the family--daughters-in-law Theresa and Sophia, and Theresa's daughter Rosa--while instructing their lawyer to sell off business holdings. Eventually the women become involved in the business themselves, trying to recover money that's disappeared into Carolla's hands. Following a courtroom shootout, Carolla's adopted son Luka, using his knowledge of organization politics and his mastery of murder, becomes the women's partner and protector. Once the Luciano women discover Luka's secret, however, they implacably take revenge in the ruthless manner of their age-old code, and the strongest of them becomes the new head of the family, the bella mafiosa . (Feb.)
Library Journal
This rather lengthy novel has a relatively simple plot: all male members of the Luciano family are murdered. The widows and daughter left behind band together to avenge the killings and bring the family into power again, hence ``Bella Mafia.'' The reader will find a standard recipe of gangland violence and murder mixed with plenty of wine and spaghetti. However, the addition of ingredients like infanticide, hints of sexual abuse, secret identity, homosexuality, and possible incest, combined with the world of high fashion, creates a flavor that isn't entirely palatable. The novel raises several issues that aren't satisfactorily resolved. A blend of Mario Puzo and Judith Krantz that doesn't quite work, by a BBC writer. Literary Guild selection.-- Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet, Hammond, Ind.

Product Details

Macmillan Publishing, Ltd
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.37(w) x 7.01(h) x 1.65(d)

Meet the Author

Lynda La Plante (1943) is an English author, screenwriter, and former actress. She began her literary career in 1987 with her debut novel The Legacy which went on to become an international bestseller. Her third novel Bella Mafia was later adapted for television in 1998 staring Vanessa Redgrave. In 2009 she was inducted into the Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame.

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