The Consigliere

A Mafia Lawyer's Quest To Choose Love Over Revenge

Fiction - Drama
399 Pages
Reviewed on 07/19/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Donna Masotto was born into an Italian-American family in the Sixties. As the middle child of eleven children, she became the consummate observer of human behavior; and hence, the family historian.

Donna Masotto’s writing is influenced by seeing first hand how the mafia infiltrated the lives of her family in Brooklyn, NY. Sure, she has a mafia connection, it sounds something like, “so-and-so was in so-and-so’s wedding,” that kind of thing, but it’s far from a topic she’d be inclined to boast about. Her viewpoint of the mafia is real, raw, and dirty, but true and bold. Ms. Masotto’s perspective provides readers an insider’s view of life within the mafia that has never been told before. Crime isn’t glamorized in her work—truth is.

Donna is a substitute teacher for San Diego Unified School District and for SD Diocesan schools. When not driving the back roads in Italy to collect ceramics for her import furniture business, she enjoys the San Diego area with her husband, John, three kids, and two Jack Russell terriers, Benny and Topaz. Most often you will find Donna teaching her six grandchildren the fantastic game of tennis at San Diego Tennis and Racquet Club.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

Declan Quinn is the main character in The Consigliere, a mafia lawyer trying to escape his life of crime. The story goes back and forth between the past and the present and his hopes for the future. Declan had a hard and troubled childhood, a sad and difficult life, and is attempting to right the wrongs and live happily ever after. We follow Declan on his journey, laughing and crying right beside him. His married life is in trouble; he is on the road to forming a close relationship with his son, Andrew; he is mourning his lost daughter; trying everything he can in searching for the sister he has not seen in many years and making plans to visit Ireland and his grandfather. This is all happening while his mafia boss is hunting him down, wanting to kill him for leaving the “business”.

I really enjoyed reading The Consigliere by Donna Masotto, and while it was about the mafia and inspired by The Godfather, it is so much more than that. I felt love, bravery, absolution, pity, fear, mercy and more as I traveled along with Declan, his family, his friends and his enemies. Each page was an exciting adventure that pulled me right into the story. Donna Masotto was truly inspired and took that inspiration to a brand new high. This was so much more than just another book about the mafia – it was the story of a boy making bad decisions and the effect it had on the man for his entire life. The Consigliere is well written with characters that you want to get to know better and a plot that never stops being good. I highly recommend The Consigliere be read at your earliest convenience.

Romuald Dzemo

The Consigliere: A Mafia Lawyer’s Quest To Choose Love Over Revenge by Donna Masotto is a mesmerizing story filled with drama and very compelling characters. One of the important members of a mob, The Consigliere, is hit by tragedy, losing his eight-year-old daughter, and now he feels the irresistible call to set his life straight. Declan Quinn wants to find his long-lost sister and start a new life, but he must face his mafia boss. Help comes from unexpected places and Declan takes the road less traveled to confront his past and face his demons. Follow him on this unnerving quest as he struggles to reconnect with the child he once was and to find redemption. Follow him as he rediscovers love, but does he have what it takes to love and to break free from a life of crime?

Donna Masotto has crafted a story that is as inspiring as it is entertaining, starting with the protagonist’s colorful yet troubled childhood, with an abusive father who drank himself from one jail cell to the next. With a mother dead and Shannon gone, Declan has to forge his own path. The story is filled with emotion and the humanity of the characters comes out neatly through the narrative. The author allows the religious, albeit the spiritual, to intermingle with the mundane, exploring human nature from quite unique angles. The psychological dimension of the novel caught my attention from the very first page and I became keen on finding out what made Declan the man he grew up to be, the secrets to his success, and the sudden, overwhelming desire to change his lifestyle. It’s a story of a man’s journey back to himself, but it is also a story of love that liberates from within. The Consigliere: A Mafia Lawyer’s Quest To Choose Love Over Revenge will appeal to readers who enjoy well-crafted crime novels. It is riveting and thoughtfully written.

K.C. Finn

The Consigliere: A Mafia Lawyer's Quest To Choose Love Over Revenge is a dark drama by author Donna Masotto. Inspired by the story and setting of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, the consigliere of the title is Declan Quinn, a mafia family member who serves as a kind of peace-keeper and adviser to the Don of the family. Beginning the tale as a lawyer in New York City, Declan is spiraling out of reality as he grieves for his poor daughter, drowned at the age of only eight. He is desperate to cut ties with the mafia and rediscover the meaning of his life before it’s too late, but getting away from the Don isn’t as simple as signing a letter of resignation. Even beyond the Don’s reach, Declan’s personal journey through suffering and discovering the truth is far from over.

The Consigliere is definitely painted with the same palette as The Godfather, and fans of Mario Puzo are certain to settle into Donna Masotto’s world nicely. What I particularly enjoyed about The Consigliere was the amount of compassion and emotion worked into the story, from furious anger to terrifying grief, and those moments were when I was so hopeful for Declan’s future and the prospect of his new life ahead. There’s an exploration of what the word ‘family’ actually means, in terms of the mob and in terms of what people are willing to do to help those whom they love, and I thought that was very intelligently handled with compassionate side characters and multi-faceted ‘villains’. Highly recommended.

Ankita Shukla

The Consigliere: A Mafia Lawyer's Quest To Choose Love Over Revenge by Donna Masotto is a story that will force its readers to sit down and really put their lives under the microscope. The protagonist, Declan, witnessed the violent death of his mother at the hands of his own father when he was only thirteen years old and his sister, Shannon, was only eight. He saw his sister sitting in the pool of his mother's blood. This sight could have changed even angels, and Declan was only a child. He vowed to take revenge by killing his father. He didn't know it then, but this promise transformed him in a manner that created not only a life of hell for him but also separated him from his loved ones: Shannon, his grandfather, and his one true love -- Judy. He made many terrible choices and ended up becoming the lawyer of a mafia don. This looked good on his bank account but was very bad for his conscience. He struggled in his personal life and began blaming himself for an accident that took his daughter's life. When his son pushed him to analyze his life, Declan realized that the only way to fill the void in his heart was by finding Shannon, whom he had abandoned some thirty years ago. He also realized that he did not want to be a part of this criminal world and that he must quit his job to be able to live a decent life. However, nobody ups and quits on a don.

This is not just another mafia story -- you know, the kind of stories that glamorize the mafia world and celebrate murder as if it's a rite of passage. No, Donna Masotto's The Consigliere is an eye-opener for everyone who has strayed far from love. When Declan's mother was murdered, he had to make a choice: either surrender to his anger and hatred for his father and choose the path of revenge or allow his love for his sister to embrace him and move on to live a good life unlike his father's. Many of his well-wishers tried to counsel him, but he tuned them all out. His act of vengeance did not bring him the peace that he had anticipated because you cannot fight the darkness with darkness. The author's style of storytelling is really smooth and engaging. Declan's journey from keeping secrets to "removing the thorns with telling" is fascinating and enlightening. Honestly, I had not expected a book with a mafia background to be this gripping; however, that is what it turned out to be and much more!

Gisela Dixon

The Consigliere: A Mafia Lawyer's Quest To Choose Love Over Revenge is a fiction story inspired by some real life people and characters. The Consigliere is essentially the story of Declan, a lawyer and advisor to the mafia. The book begins with some of Declan’s early memories of his mother and sister, how his mother was harmed, his anger and relationship with his father, and the family dynamics. The story then goes on to tell us about all of the important people who have been a part of Declan’s life and shaped his destiny in some way, his work as he slowly starts working as a lawyer and is closely involved in the mafia, the women in his life including Judy and his wife Sofia, the death of his child and his subsequent struggles and disillusionment with life in general, and finally his decision to change paths and make a completely different and new life for himself and his family - and this is what makes up the plot of the book.

The Consigliere: A Mafia Lawyer's Quest To Choose Love Over Revenge by Donna Masotto brings to life the quintessential story of the consigliere, and his connections with the dons and the mafia underworld. Declan’s story is one full of ups and downs, and Donna Masotto weaves it in such a way that the events seem believable and seem to occur in a natural progression. Donna Masotto draws inspiration from people and the environment she knows, and that shows in the detailed and authentic narrative. The writing is fast-paced and thrilling at times, and I am sure fans of the mafia and crime genres or The Godfather series would certainly enjoy this book.