Discretion: A Novel
“Discretion is intriguing, . . . leaves you wondering if the book is truly fiction—or not.”
What happens when you mix sex with politics and then add just the right amount of mystery and suspense?
You end up with a story that is sure to please even picky readers. Discretion has all those ingredients, and Allison Leotta serves up satisfying read that will ensure that this, her second book, turns out to be a huge hit.
The story, set in our nation’s capital, gives the reader an inside look at what goes on behind the closed doors of Congress. One of Washington, D.C.,’s most powerful figures, its lone congressman, is the prime suspect when a woman falls to her death from the balcony of his office. As one would anticipate, the investigation is fraught with misdirection and minefields, as power and politics are set in motion to deter the investigators at every turn.
Assigned to determine whether the woman’s death is accidental or murder is Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Curtis. Complicating her task is that her boss also happens to be her lover, a fact both attempt to keep under wraps. The duo learn early on that the deceased is a high priced escort who works for a service that until the woman’s death was known only to the very powerful and privileged movers and shakers of Washington, D.C.
As the high profile case moves forward, Curtis’ world begins to crumble. The secret relationship with her boss threatens her credibility and future with the U.S. Attorney’s office. The pressure strains the couple’s union, threatening to destroy it.
Despite all this, Curtis moves forward with help from a gritty female FBI agent whose character the author has done an excellent job in developing. I found myself wanting to read more about Special Agent Samantha Randazzo. A native of D.C., Randazzo knows the city inside and out, and her big Italian family owns a restaurant that she and Anna visit. The author’s description of the family and activity inside the eatery literally evokes the sounds and smells one would expect in real experience—I could almost smell the Italian gravy and meatballs cooking. I hope Ms. Leotta will exploit the character of SA Randazzo in future stories.
As the investigation heats up and Curtis and Randazzo search for additional information about the dead escort, they venture into the seedy nighttime streets of the most powerful city in the world. They explore the social clubs and walk the asphalt “track,” talking with the women who make a living in the world’s oldest profession.
Sex, power, politics, and mystery make for a good read from this good writer. Discretion is intriguing, ultimately rewarding the reader with a very satisfying conclusion that leaves you wondering if the book is truly fiction—or not.