Control of a successful, multigenerational family enterprise fuels this rousing tale of greed, animosity and corporate rivalry.
Harris’ (Capital Crimes, 2002, etc.) third novel follows the churning melodrama surrounding the Galetti clan’s $2 billion supermarket chain. Right from the opening pages, there’s a legal battle brewing between co-CEOs and estate heirs Joe Galetti and his deceased brother Dom’s wife, Maria, over stocks and profits the company has made and failed to share with her side of the family. The story’s narrator, Galetti company executive Russell Riley, is curiously not a blood relative but rather a faithful employee who becomes embroiled in the family’s domestic disputes. Riley’s version of events contributes a unique, semioutsider’s perspective of the tense squabble, which is presented with an effective combination of present-day court proceedings paired with Riley’s fond flashbacks of growing up with Dom as a boy in the Galetti flagship market outside Boston and then, as an adult, while tensions grew as the business expanded. As the court case simmers, Joe becomes an embittered tyrant, and truths are revealed about the business and the nature of familial loyalty. Peripheral yet richly drawn characters—Joe’s genial nephew Trip; Helen Cortez, a highly compromised court clerk; demure law partner Diane Dunbar; scorned business partner Maria—add texture and flourishes of levity to a familial melodrama that intensifies as Harris amps up the messy courtroom antics in the novel’s fiery, scandalous and surprising conclusion. With an economy of words and spry dialogue, Harris’ novel doesn’t skimp on action, subtle romance or satisfying suspense.
A sordid tale of sparring bloodlines that will entertain fans of family dramas.