6:38 pm - Monday October 23, 2017

The Shaman and the Mafia

A former nun and an FBI assistant director find love in the middle of a
murder investigation in this action-packed thriller inspired by the
author’s own life.
Marietta Collins leaves the cloistered life of the convent in order to experience an
independent existence. Now in charge of a drug rehab center for young people, she
believes that by dedicating her time to ridding her small town of crime and drugs she has brought true peace and
meaning into her life. But as Joseph Gleason, Marietta’s close friend and a local drug informant, is found murdered
in what appears to be a Mafia hit, Marietta’s soon realizes that life outside the nunnery is going to be more
challenging that she expected.
Devastated at the loss of her friend, but determined to track down his killer, Marietta teams up with Joseph’s
brother, Raymond, who works for the FBI. Sheltered and inexperienced, Marietta has never even had a lover, but
sparks fly between her and Raymond, who quickly becomes her first sexual encounter. Unable to investigate his
own brother’s murder, Raymond charges FBI agent Jerry Young with the task of hunting down the Mafia’s kingpin.
Jerry has his own inner demons and when his past comes back to haunt him, he turns to his childhood mentor, a
mysterious shaman from the Cherokee reservation where he was raised. An unexpected love triangle, wracked
with guilt and conflicted emotions develops, as Marietta, Raymond and Jerry must all come to terms with the truth
and try desperately to make sense of their lives.
The Shaman and the Mafia, Elizabeth Upton’s thrilling debut novel, explores themes of devotion, loyalty, guilt
and faith as three unlikely allies must work together to solve the murder of their friend. Like Marietta, Upton joined
a convent as a young woman. Her decision to become a nun was inspired by her very difficult childhood, which
involved two years in an orphanage where she witnessed the suffering of many other children. Determined to live
a life of service and help others, the convent seemed an obvious option, until certain factors, including a forbidden
love affair and many conflicting emotions about spirituality, drove her from the convent and into a new life helping
children and teens who were abused or struggling with drugs. Upton artfully draws upon her eclectic life
experiences, as well as her years studying mysticism, reincarnation and spirituality, to excellent effect in The
Shaman and the Mafia.

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