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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Shaman and the Mafia is a work of fiction in the mystery subgenre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Elizabeth Upton. The book follows former nun Marietta Collins as she is dragged into the aftershock of a tragic murder when her friend Joseph is killed in what looks like a mob hit. As Marietta becomes romantically involved with both Joseph’s brother and the FBI agent investigating the death, the past refuses to stay buried for all involved as the FBI hunts the mafia boss believed to have ordered the hit whilst the police search for the killer directly.
Whilst the mystery of Joseph Gleason’s murder lies at the center of this novel and provides the core narrative around which the characters gather, the great contribution to the story the death makes is to act as a catalyst for an in-depth and intriguing character study of those involved in Joseph’s life. Author Elizabeth Upton has created a cast of colorful characters, each of whom has had life breathed into them by her stunning prose, and it’s a treat to turn each page and find the direction in which the events of the narrative will push them next. I particularly enjoyed the development of Detective Riley as she is forced to confront the harsh reality of corruption in an institution she has served for years. Beautifully blending the trappings of a love story and a thriller, The Shaman and the Mafia uses the best of both genres to tell a story unlike any other which will stay with readers long after the final page is turned.