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Book review: 'The Exceptions' by David Cristofano

“The Exceptions” by David Cristofano is a follow-up to his Edgar-award nominated debut novel “The Girl She Used to Be.”
BY BETTY LYTLE Published: September 2, 2012

“The Exceptions” (Grand Central Publishing, $24.99), by David Cristofano, is a follow-up to his Edgar-award nominated debut novel, “The Girl She Used to Be.”

When he was 10, Jonathan Bovaro saw Melody Grace McCartney with her parents, attempting to enter his father's restaurant. When they found the door locked, they went around back, but soon came running out of the alley, got in their car and drove away.

What Jonathan didn't realize was that his father was in the process of slitting Jimmy the Rat's throat, and the McCartneys saw him through the window. When the police came, Jonathan told them about the McCartney family and gave them the tag number of their vehicle.

Jonathan's father heads one of the most powerful and respected families in organized crime. The McCartney family must be found and silenced. All loose ends must be tied up.

Jonathan volunteers for the job. He can't get Melody out of his mind — a small, blond girl who spun around on the sidewalk. He thought of her as a little Mary Tyler Moore. When the time comes to kill her, he can't. His cousin kills her parents, but he makes sure Melody goes free.

For the next two decades, he keeps track of Melody, watching her from afar. He wants nothing more than to take care of her. Other women don't interest him. He is obsessed with Melody.

From the streets of New York City's Little Italy to a small town that promises a new start, Jonathan must choose between his family and the life he's always known, and a destiny unlike anything he ever imagined.

— Betty Lytle


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