Book Excerpt: Dramatis Personae from Monster

by Helena d’Argento
[email protected]

Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Coming soon to Amazon

Gianpaolo Romero: A father, a husband, and the CEO of a nonprofit called the Jack Pinela Foundation, Gianpaolo is the head of a crime family gone legit, who considers it his mandate from God to liberate trafficked persons.

Andy Beaumont-Romero: Gianpaolo’s second wife, stepmother to his seven children, and mother to his unborn baby; Andy is clever and quick, but very young, and when she begins to learn the ins and outs of her husband’s work, it is a shock to her system.

Giorgio Mezzanotte: An interested party. Giorgio has lived a solitary life, using his peculiar skillset to become an espionage artist, but he remembers very little of his early years.

Malcolm Taylor: An Australian assassin. Malcolm is ruthless and intelligent, with a dark sense of humor and a self-made sense of justice.

Tony Romero: Tony is Gianpaolo Romero’s younger cousin. He is brash and inexperienced, unwise to the ways of the world. His cousin has thus far kept him safe at home, but when he becomes Giorgio’s right hand man in the field, he quickly learns that his partner is not exactly what he seems.

Enzo Martelli: A barkeeper, a close friend to Gianpaolo, and more than an acquaintance to Giorgio Mezzanotte. He grew up on an olive grove in Sicily, in a region controlled by Gianpaolo’s relatives, but in 2006, after his husband died unexpectedly, he made his way to Colorado to seek out the American Romero family.

Lorenzo Medici: A descendent of the illustrious 15th Century banking family, Lorenzo is the young and reckless CEO of Medici Bank International, who finds himself in a great deal of trouble after liaising with the wrong business contact.

Angelo Ambrogini: Lorenzo’s devoted personal assistant, Angelo is a writer and a scholar who also acts as tutor to his employer’s children.

John Horatio Miller: The Republican candidate for the presidency, John Miller is the former CEO of a multibillion dollar construction company; he is derided and despised by the political establishment, but he may have heretofore unseen depths.

Lana Silber: The former Secretary of State, Lana Silber is the Democratic candidate for the presidency, but after the failure of the Libyan state at her hands, it remains to be seen whether her trickery will be enough to win the election.

Amara de’ Pazzi: A talented young lady and the last scion of a dynasty extending back to the 15th Century, Amara is a musician and singer who has secured a residency at a prominent casino in Las Vegas, but her financier is less interested in her musical talents than he is in what her manager and guardian Denise Wasson has made of her.

Denise Wasson: A professional. Denise works in the shadows, managing young talent and fostering their creativity in unorthodox ways, as well as securing their financial backing. She has been in the business for twenty years, and her influence on her charges is undeniable.

Howard Underwood: The lead singer of a band called Tower of Babel, Howard believes he has no other skill than to scream into a microphone, but in his past lies a secret which has the potential to shock the complacent world.

Andrew Ambrose: Andrew Ambrose is the heart and soul of Jekyll Island, a popular act in the running for the XMA Awards’ Best Album category, but he is also property; everything changes when he seeks out his best friend Howard in the middle of the night with a trove of information.

Cassidy Underwood: Howard’s loving wife and mother to his toddler son Uriel. Cassidy grew up on her mother and father’s farm in rural Tennessee as their only child, and she is built tough, but in the process of confronting her husband’s strange demons, she becomes acutely aware that her mother knew best all along.

Danny Nguyen: Danny is the other frontman of Tower of Babel, and Howard’s soul brother; he is a rapper and guitarist, and is the only one to whom Howard can turn to for help when his world becomes much smaller and much stranger.

Mark de Luca: Mr. de Luca is Lana Silber’s campaign manager, a man whose closet holds many skeletons. He has traveled the world in service to incomprehensible powers and has his fingers in every governmental pie, but it is his foolish mistake which leads to a major upset in his political camp.

Monster is a book about war, about men and women, love and loss, and courage under fire. Begun in 2017 and finished in 2023, it tells the story of an election cycle we all remember, and attempts to share vital truths with an audience who may never before have considered them.


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