Chris Massi never wanted to enter his father's business with the Mob. Instead, he followed the law and became an attorney, not deviating from his standards when he married the daughter of a Mafia kingpin.
Joe Black Massi had a career as a Mafia assassin.
When Joe is killed and Chris' mother dies of a heart attack, Chris becomes concerned about his thirteen-year-old son, Matt. Matt is developing a swagger and indicating that he is interested in becoming a member of the Mafia, eventually. Chris realizes that this means that Matt would be forced to kill someone to earn the privilege of entering the Mafia.
Chris has a conference with the Don, Junior Boy DiGiglio, who was Chris' former father-in-law. Chris asks what he must do so that Matt is not groomed for that life.
DiGiglio tells Chris the name of the man who killed Chris' father, Barsonetti, the Boat. This man had offered Joe Black a position as capo in his family and a share of some money Joe Black had been holding for someone else. When Joe Black refused, Barsonetti took it as a personal insult and ordered him killed.
We also learn of Chris' childhood friend, Ed Dolan, who has developed a hatred for Chris since Chris' father killed Ed's, even though it was in self defense. Dolan's hatred develops into an obsession and now he is a prosecutor with the Mayor's organized crime task force. He wants to destroy Chris, legally or illegally.
The plot flows very smoothly in the realistic setting of New York and New Jersey. Details of the Mafia family are carefully woven into the story and Chris integrity and goal in his life is challenged as he sees Dolan attempting to destroy him and his family. Excitement built with a well described climax in the New Jersey marshes and then in the offices of the Mafia hierarchy.
Link is for Amazon book review, if you would like to comment there that the review was helpful.