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miércoles, 9 de julio de 2014

Blessed are the Dead: chilling and clever mystery thriller

It's time for a change. It's time for a thriller to keep you up late and checking behind doors and under your bed. Have you heard of Kristi Belcamino? I think it'd be worth your time if you're a little bit into this genre, or just good ol' strong female characters.


To catch a killer, one reporter must risk it all …
San Francisco Bay Area newspaper reporter Gabriella Giovanni spends her days on the crime beat, flitting in and out of other people's nightmares, yet walking away unscathed. When a little girl disappears on the way to the school bus stop, her quest for justice and a front-page story leads her to a convicted kidnapper, Jack Dean Johnson, who reels her in with promises to reveal his exploits as a serial killer. But Gabriella's passion for her job quickly spirals into obsession when she begins to suspect the kidnapper may have ties to her own dark past: her sister's murder.
Risking her life, her job, and everything she holds dear, Gabriella embarks on a quest to find answers and stop a deranged murderer before he strikes again.
Perfect for fans of Sue Grafton and Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series!

I can't imagine how difficult it must be for a family to lose a little girl to kidnapping and murder. This novel tackles the issue with an interesting approach. A reporter is trying to get a scoop about the disappearance of a kid. It's a job she takes very seriously. After so many years, she's still haunted by her sister's death.

I was pleasantly surprised by how warmly human this character is. Gabriella Giovanni is a crime reporter with guts and a heart. Twisted by pain and family issues and daily frustration, but she's brave, resilient, and honourable. A good character to relate to and care for. She's a good professional and all the steps she takes in the investigation are laced with reality, grit, accuracy, but also a very touching sense of humanity.

Through the eyes of a journalist who also shares the victims' experience, the reader is able to follow the mystery into the sordid side of the city and the human soul.

As I was reading, I wasn't sure if Gabriella was going so far in the name of duty or if it was a sickening obsession with the past that kept her going. It was really tough for her to be in touch with a murderer, all her feelings of disgust and curiosity, fear and incomprehension, were conveyed perfectly by the author.

Even though it's not overwhelming, the effect of her loss still alters Gabriella's life in different ways. Personal life and her job are both coloured by the powerful memories. She tries to be a good journalist, but sometimes it's hard to draw the line between your duty and the respect owned to the victims.

As she gets deeper and deeper in the story, things become really tough for Gabriella, both at work and in her personal life. I felt really sorry for her. I just wanted her to overcome her obstacles and find some kind of closure. Dealing with a monster and the ghosts from her past was taking a bit toll on her.

There is a bit of romance thrown in the middle of the drama. It's exciting and it fits beautifully into the plot. Another thing that I liked a lot is Gabriella's chess skills which add a unique flavour to her character. It's not a random trait either because it applies to the plot and the character's profile. Though I must admit that all that mental strategy doesn't serve her too well in the end. She's forced to face each and every one of her fears and on the other side of those final 50 pages of frantic life-or-death desperation, lies only one outcome: liberation of past ghosts or evil itself.

I'm peculiar with mystery thrillers. I like to read them once in a while, but they have to match two criteria. The plot must be compelling and the main character should be someone for whom I feel something. In this case, it's double check. Besides, the author's writing style is the perfect vehicle for a good story and a life-like character. I'm very satisfied with the result. And the evil guy in here is no vampire. He's truly the bogeyman.

If you want to check the author's website, go ahead!

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