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Roma, Underground Paperback – February 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing (February 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983676488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983676485
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,641,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A provocative thriller with a riveting and surprising plot."  - M.J. Rose, International bestseller

"...the strong, captivating heroine and an allure of conspiracy and organized crime make this novel an undoubted success." - Kirkus Book Reviews.

"Conspiracy, double identities, car chases and espionage, all against the backdrop of magical Rome, with its great food and marvelous art history, make this an entertaining, intriguing read." - Blogcritics Book Reviews in Brief.

From the Back Cover

Wasp's Nest: The Roma, Underground Sequel Coming November 2012. Get a sneak peek inside!

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
I might be in love with Dante.
Janice
Yes we all have a junior high spin-the-bottle mentality to some extent, but in terms of the story, it detracted from the more sophisticated plot.
LotieDot77
I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Jet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PF68 on October 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not normally a fan of author's first books, nor am I an avid "commenter" on Amazon. I usually find first books contrived because the author inevitably tries to pack in everything but the kitchen sink in his or her first literary attempt.

But then there was Roma, Underground by Gabriel Valjan. Elegant and graceful in its overall contribution to the literary world. A friend of mine - knowing my love for all things Roman - mentioned this book to me shortly after I arrived back from Rome this past spring. The book has been sitting waiting around for me and when I finally picked it up to read it, I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the pros, the lively and colorful descriptive phrases. I found it easy to lose myself in the descriptions - even smell and tastes came alive for me. It wasn't just well researched and technically correct - it was spiritually correct in a manner of speaking. Valjan has an appreciation for Rome and its offerings that will have me reading it again. I am buying copies to send to my friends that traveled with me to Rome this spring. Plot and story line - very enjoyable!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CJ on April 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Coming from the "Alias" TV show generation, this novel brought back the unsuspecting, strong female role, whose solid lead takes you on a conspiracy filled journey through Rome. I loved how the novel combined a plot of suspicion, power, and organized crime amidst a colorful Italian culture, absorbed in Roman history. Having traveled to Rome two times, I enjoyed feeling transported back to the Eternal City...and back even further through time in some passages.

I anticipated reading this novel every night on the kindle version in the dark...it added to the mystery and suspense. Definitely recommend for those looking for an intriguing thriller!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LotieDot77 on November 6, 2012
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Roma, Underground is a detective-thriller reminiscent of the Maltese Falcon in a Roman wrapper complete with femme fatales and fabulous food.

However in place of Sam Spade, we are offered Alabaster Black, a forensic accountant extraordinaire. While her love of the ledger is not prominently featured in the main plot, it's her sleuthing skills that take the lead.

I must admit that I was hoping for a variation of a confident Alias-type in Alabaster/Bianca as the main character. I also never got a complete sense of what she looked like. Her surprisingly low self-esteem doesn't gel with her success in her special assignments. I was also taken aback when she would seek validation from various male characters in regards to her looks, one in particular when she went to dinner with Robert Strand and wondered if she was plain. Some of the minor characters, like the landlady, would offer a third party endorsement and say that she was attractive, but doesn't know it or display her "assets" to their best. Perhaps this is intentional on the part of the author and will offer more development of this aspect in the next installment.

The development of the Bianca/Dante relationship was peculiar to me as well. Dante, as the main male lead, was regularly teased about Bianca as his "girlfriend". Yes we all have a junior high spin-the-bottle mentality to some extent, but in terms of the story, it detracted from the more sophisticated plot. In addition to obvious self-esteem issues, she clearly has trust issues as well. In their research Rendition revealed that Alabaster's first "boyfriend" was at 14, and it was later implied that there was a dark, possibly traumatic aspect to this relationship. To initiate a relationship with Dante, Bianca basically stalked him at a café.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cynthia well ejiogu on August 21, 2012
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I just finished the book and really enjoyed it. Mr Valjan's first effort at a mystery novel was fast paced and very engaging. The main character Ms. Black is on someone I would like to get to know and read more about. The description of Rome and it's social life was very educational. Once in a while it was alittle too detailed, but on the whole I learned something about Rome and it's people. I also learned that people from like to eat, alot of food at all times! I also found it educational and entertaining in the details about ancient Rome and the life under modern day Rome. On the whole a very good first book. I also read the chapter from the second book and I am looking forward to reading the whole book!
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Format: Paperback
"Roma, Underground" is a sophisticated suspense novel that features a nuanced and intelligent female protagonist named Alabaster Black, but who lives under the pseudonym "Bianca Nerini" in order to hide from her former employer Rendition. I found Bianca to be a relate-able character and I identified with her often. I am a woman in my mid-twenties and I could tell that Bianca was a peer. I really enjoyed watching Bianca develop during "Roma". She has been on her own for a long time at the start of the novel, and she must learn to trust her new boyfriend Dante and their friends who are a part of the Roma Underground. I also liked how Bianca's relationship with Dante progressed over time. It is difficult to create well-rounded characters that breathe on the page, but Valjan has accomplished this challenge.

"Roma" includes two mysteries - which I will not divulge so the reader can enjoy them as they unfurl. I found both story lines plausible and a lot of fun.

My favorite part of "Roma" was the humor! I do not laugh out loud at most books, but there were several lines that I chuckled at and there were a few times where I laughed very loudly and probably annoyed the people around me. There are also serious and touching, even poetic, moments in the novel, and Valjan handles all of these moments with finesse.

I am looking forward to reading "Wasp's Nest", the second novel in the series. I am eager to see how Bianca and the other characters continue to grow.

"Roma" is a great read, and perfect for summer!
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More About the Author

Gabriel Valjan lives in New England. Short-listed for the 2010 Fish Short Story Prize, Gabriel's short stories continue to appear in print and online literary journals. Winter Goose Publishing publishes his Roma Series: Book 1: Roma, Underground; 2: Wasp's Nest; 3: Threading the Needle, and 4: Turning to Stone.

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