cover image The Senator's Daughter

The Senator's Daughter

Victoria Gotti. Forge, $23.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86323-4

The daughter of mob figure John Gotti writes of another father-daughter relationship in a fast-paced, captivating first novel that engages the reader with a tightly knit plot. Twenty-eight-year-old attorney Taylor Brooke (aka Talia Carlino Serle) becomes embroiled in a high-profile murder case when a black busboy, 19-year-old Tommy Washington, is accused of a hit on Joe Sessio, leader of the Boston dock union. Convinced of Tommy's innocence, Taylor works to unravel the secrets of city politics. In the process, she uncovers corruption in the DA's office. She also stumbles onto secrets in her own past when the father she never knew, brahmin U.S. senator Frank Morgan, reenters her life. Taylor's mother, Eva, was killed 19 years ago in a hit-and-run accident. This death ties together the stories of the Sessio and Morgan families. Taylor's other demons include an ex-husband, Eric Serle, whom she left when he became abusive and tried to prevent her enrollment in law school. As Tommy's trial proceeds, Taylor, Eric and the combatant forces from the DA's office come together during a September storm on Martha's Vineyard. Though the conclusion is rather hasty as loose ends are rapidly tied, the resolution is a satisfying one, further demonstrating that Gotti doesn't need ""connections'' to find an audience for her thriller. (Mar.) FYI: John Gotti, commonly referred to as a ""reputed mobster"" in the press, is coyly dubbed an ""intriguing public figure"" in the publisher's catalogue.