Once Through the Heart

Ralph Blumenthal, Author
Ralph Blumenthal, Author Simon & Schuster $21.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-70750-7
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New York Times crime reporter Blumenthal ( Last Days of the Sicilians ) begins this chronicle near the end of the 1980s, on the day NYPD narcotics officer Pat DiGregorio discovered that his daughter Mary Anne was dealing drugs. He proceeds to reconstruct the family's history, detailing DiGregorio's youth and young adulthood; his first marriage (to Mary Anne's mother, who was an alcoholic); his son's death, at age six, of heart disease; his career in the police department and the difficulties he and his second wife, Barbara--also a cop--were having with teenage Mary Anne. DiGregorio gets Mary Anne to enroll in a rehab program; she sticks with it and after two years graduates with her high school class, and later becomes a beautician. Blumenthal's thorough research reveals this family's anguish and examines important issues faced by other parents. But the DeGregorios' story remains curiously encapsulated and somewhat defeatist, as it suggests that the events described were inevitable. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Parade magazine; movie rights to RHI Entertainment. (Oct.)
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