A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Blessed are the Meek: A Gabriella Giovanni MysteryBlessed are the Meek: A Gabriella Giovanni Mystery by Kristi Belcamino
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blessed are the Meek by Kristi Belcaminio is a 2014 Witness Impulse publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Another excellent installment in this series featuring newspaper reporter Gabriella Giovanni and her detective boyfriend Sean Donovan.
Sean and Gabriella have been together for nearly a year and the relationship is solid enough except for Gabriella's fears of starting a family. But, when a dot.com billionaire is murdered his girlfriend is the first person on the police radar. When Gabriella starts poking around she is stunned to learn that the stricking and cold as ice, Annalisa, was once involved romantically with Sean. This sends Gabriella straight into avoidance mode, even more than usual.
In the background of this high profile murder case, Gabriella is still searching for answers in regards to her sister's death. Once again there appears to be a real lead, but will Gabriella finally get closure or is this yet another dead end?

Gabriella is so human with her insecurities, her fears, and her “die before you cry” mantra. She is pitted against Sean's former lover, Annalisa, who is intent on luring Sean away from her ,plus for kicks and giggles, both she and Sean are under investigation.
The San Francisco locale is the perfect setting for this moody crime drama that packs a lot of emotional punches along with the shoot outs, murders, and plot twist, yet it still manages to pull all the elements together to give our characters more strength to deal with the past, the present, and what looks like a promising future despite the issues Gabriella and Sean will still have to work through.
The characters here have made strides in dealing with their problems with the ever present lesson that one can't run from life, can't continue to keep secrets, and to make relationships work they must face their fears and take changes. While the crime drama and all the twist are in the forefront of the story, the complications and implications of the crimes reek havoc on Gabriella on all levels. I felt like I was going through every emotion right along with her.
A few times the author tended to overuse gestures or phrases, but other than that this was a solid mystery, well plotted , and I simply loved the ending. This one is 4 stars.

Kristi Belcamino is a writer, photographer, and Italian mama who also bakes a tasty biscotti.

As an award-winning reporter in California, she flew over Big Sur in an FA-18 jet with the Blue Angels, raced a Dodge Viper at Laguna Seca and watched autopsies. Her first novel, BLESSED ARE THE DEAD, was inspired by her dealings on the crime beat with a serial killer.

"Kristi Belcamino uses her newsroom background to grand effect in this crackling, savvy debut. Insider know-how and deft detail make every page come alive -- and those pages fly by as the story reaches out and grabs you by the heart. Blessed are the Dead is a great read, Gabriella Giovanni is a one-of-a-kind character, and Kristi Belcamino is a writer to watch." --David Corbett, award-winning author of DO THEY KNOW I'M RUNNING?

"A fast-paced and remarkably assured debut, featuring an immensely likeable protagonist and a reporter's eye for detail. Belcamino puts her experience on the crime beat to good use, creating the kind of villain who'll lurk in your nightmares long after the book ends. Double-check your locks before you crack this one open!"
-- Owen Laukkanen, author of THE PROFESSIONALS

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