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A Glimpse at the Characters
JOHN VITTONE, sixty-three, and a native Sardinian, is the mastermind of the drug arm of the Pucchini Family, one of the five crime syndicates in the New York area. The prodigy of a father shot down in cold blood when he refused to do business with the local mob, he is the product of a Catholic seminary, who finally decided that his talents were better suited to a life of drug smuggling. Vittone keeps a low profile while conducting his drug activities, through his bank of computers and screens tracking the twenty four hours-a-day activities of his forty drug couriers. He knows the identity of every drop-off point and contact, without ever relying upon a single piece of paper. A quiet man, he is capable of resorting to murder and violence when pushed. His daughter, Pia, is all that he lives for since his wife died and he seeks greatness for her in the legitimate world. But now, Vittone’s assassination of Sal Alegri and the man’s Sicilian uncle, brings his daughter to the brink of disaster.PIA VASSAR, is every father’s dream come true: five foot ten, blessed with the green eyes of a Sardinian girl, long black hair and the brains and charm of a Columbia Law graduate. At eighteen, she changes her name at her father’s suggestion so that she will not be associated in the public mind with his nefarious ways. She enters the elite world of an international Wall Street law firm at twenty-five, and at thirty-six she becomes a senior partner, traveling the globe to navigate the choppy waters of international statutes. It’s a rather perfect life until one day she enters her magnificently decorated co-op, on the West Side, and finds herself surrounded by four Federal lawmen armed with a search warrant. They quickly uncover a cache of drugs that have been planted in her closet by several swarthy men only hours ago. She is charged with four RICO violations, carrying a possible ten to twenty years in jail and the forfeiture of all of her family’s wealth. She is in the fight of her life!
JOHN F. HAMPTON, handsome, Princeton educated, forty-six, columnist for the New York Daily News, with a daily readership of one million and a Pulitzer Prize for his recent expose` entitled, “The New York Mob and its Pact with the Mayor,” knows every major politician in the country and is a fixture on the charity circuit. He can get the inside information on any celebrity, politico or Mafia Don by merely picking up the phone. He runs into Pia at P.J. Clarke’s in midtown Manhattan, and for the first time in his long list of amorous adventures, is totally captured by her charm. He does everything within the power of his pen to vindicate her and salvage her tottering career.
TOMMY “BOOTS” PUCCHINI, is the fifty year old Don of the Pucchini Family, based primarily out of Queens, the eastern-most borough on Long Island. Named for his fetish of putting his enemies in cement shoes and then dropping them into the Atlantic, Pucchini’s family is distantly related by blood ties to Vittone. The clan left Sardinia in 1911, but uses its native contacts in the lucrative heroin and cocaine trade. Favors are exchanged periodically between the American and European sides of the Family and Vittone is welcomed with open arms to bring with him to New York all of his drug contacts built up in a career of dope peddling. Vittone rises quickly through the ranks, and his brains give him a distinct advantage over his American cousins. Tommy Pucchini puts him in charge of a billion-dollar-a-year ring that earns millions in profits for the Family and over a million a year in salary for Vittone. However, business is business, and when one of Vittone’s henchmen skims profits from the Family, Pucchini quietl y tells Vittone that he must mete out the usual punishment and restore the Family honor. Pucchini receives permission from the Commission for the contract.
LESLIE GABRIELSON, is known around the Federal Courthouse as “The Shark”. She prowls the hallways of the criminal justice division, seeking loopholes and technicalities that will free her clients. She is as tough on judges as with opposing counsel and her style is no holds barred, winner takes all. She orchestrates Pia’s defense, and commands her private investigators and paralegals to precisely execute her strategies. The smallest detail that can be the difference between winning and losing never escapes her.
MIKE MCKENNA, is the quintessential New York Private I. A former Marine Master Sergeant in the Military Police, he is as tough as they come. Burly and ruddy, he can use charms or threats as a situation warrants to elicit from any recalcitrant witness the facts that Leslie Gabrielson needs to win her case. He finally breaks down the two-bit-con-men who take on Vittone and his daughter and gets them to see the light. His world is one of late night bars and mid day alliances with the women who love him, and his mind is a map of every corner of the metropolis, complete with every character who roams its sidewalks.
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