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Blessed are the Dead: A Gabriella Giovanni Mystery (Gabriella Giovanni Mysteries) Paperback – July 29, 2014
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From the Author
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062338919
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062338914
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.68 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Witness Impulse (July 29, 2014)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,765,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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When the story opens, a child has been kidnapped, and Gabriella has been assigned to cover the story. In her usual fashion, Gabriella is still on the story long after the other reporters have put it to bed. She remains on the story until the danger follows her home...
I loved it! This is an absolutely fantastic book – I'm so glad it's a series! If you like thriller/suspense reading, you must do yourself a favor and get this 1st book “Blessed Are The Dead”, and begin an awesome series by Kristi Belcamino. She is such a fantastic writer, she pulls you into the story With her!
For most of BLESSED IS THE DEAD, San Francisco newspaper Gabriella Giovanni does little that makes me want to see her prevail. She's mopey, snarky, handles conflict poorly, is ethically challenged, and as self-pitying as she is self-destructive. It makes her nuanced and textured and not uninteresting, but not especially someone I feel I can emotionally connect to. But I feel I'm being told to do exactly that because Gabriella is all of the above because she lost her sister to a kidnapper and murderer in her childhood. That evokes my pity, not my sympathy, and pity, by comparison, is pretty weaksauce stuff.
But the "unearned sympathy" protagonist trope is prevalent in crime fiction to the point that any prolific reader of the genre will see it as the cheap scenery painting it is. You can scarcely pick up a mystery or suspense thriller these days with being hammered up front with the protagonist's murdered wife/husband/mother/father/brother/sister/daughter/barber/haberdasher, and draped in the wet blanket of the protagonist's attendant gloom. As a result, it's as if the idea that what the protagonist says or does in the present-day story is beside the point — he or she can be a jerk or a weasel (or a wet blanket) because dammit, he or she suffered in a way you can't possibly imagine.
No. You don't win me that over that easily. You've got to earn my sympathy — and thus my deepest interest — by what you do. Not by who are you are.
So that assumption almost sunk BLESSED IS THE DEAD for me in spite of its skillful storytelling and authoritative settings. Almost.
Kristi Belcamino is a veteran newspaper journalist and her chops show not only in her unfussy and unadorned prose but in her crisp, snappy rendering of the realities of the newspapering life — and its corrosive effect on anything resembling a work-life balance. That, and the twisty plotting, kept me going through some of the book's other lesser moments — a couple of cardboard newsroom antagonists, a suspense-free insta-chemistry romance, a trite serial-killer villain with standard-issue psychosexual motives, and an Italian grandmother who exists only to garnish the story with soggy homeland homilies.
But then, more than three-fourths of the way through, Gabriella actually stepped up and took some agency over herself. She won me over with some brave, smart, surprising choices that seemed mostly credible. She made some stupid but semi-understandable mistakes and did the hard work of digging her way out of the holes she dug for herself. And by the time she races off in the dark to face the killer/kidnapper, I'm fully on board and wanting her to not only save the day, but to save herself—and her newspaper career (even if it's not particularly worthy of her) .
So, it must be said that BLESSED IS THE DEAD mostly succeeds at what it sets out to do. And Kristi Belcamino is a standout talent. I'd simply like to see her step outside the more tired tropes of the suspense genre and let her characters—and stories— take the full flight her readers deserve, that her talent demands. I'm looking forward to finding out if that happened in Gabriella Giovanni's next adventure.
I would judge this book to be a light romance. Gabriella becomes involved with a detective on the case. These parts of the book are very predictable and formulaic. Assumptions and misunderstandings are the rule of the day. I usually don't read romance, but this book was not too overdone.
Well written, steady paced and typo-free. I will read more of this series.
Top reviews from other countries
Getting into the mind of a serial killer is just freaky but I guess as a crime reporter you just have to go for it but wow they really are sneaky bastards because they can get into your mind just as easy without you even knowing it Gabriella was lucky this time, I can't wait to see what she gets up to next.