Find Her a Grave

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Carlo Venezzio was the leader of a powerful New York crime family before he was sent to prison— indeed, he was first among his peers in organized crime, the chairman of the board of organized crime as it were. Yet for all his success in his chosen field of endeavor, Carlo was a failure in his personal life. His wife hated him, his children loathed him, and he was forced by unavoidable circumstance to send his mistress and their child to live in California.

Still, Carlo kept track of his second family over the years. His mistress, her daughter Louise, and later his granddaughter Angela all benefit from his largesse. Carlo will not be able to provide such financial security forever. Nevertheless, he wants to leave his daughter a more secure income. He orders Tony Barcardo, his trusted lieutenant, to prepare a nest egg of sizable proportions to be hidden away until after his death. His instructions are that the location of the treasure trove will be concealed in two messages: one to be memorized by Louise and the other left to the care of Tony Barcardo.

After Carlo’s death, Tony informs Louise of the annuity, but she is reluctant to retrieve the treasure alone. At this point, Alan Bernhardt is approached by Angela to help her mother secure their collective financial future. Bernhardt is reluctant to become involved but the fee is substantial. Matters suddenly become quite confusing what with inter-Mafia politics, an attempted hijack, and the intervention of a third party in the person of a lethal Chinese gang boss. Readers will be gripped by Bernhardt’s plight, and author Collin Wilcox serves up a clever conclusion.