|Pictured is the second book in Kristi's series. I've already given the first book to my mum to read!|
I am so excited and happy for my dear blog friend Kristi Belcamino. Kristi used to write a fabulous lifestyle blog called La Bella Figura and I adored her Italian-American take on living a minimalist and beautiful life on a budget.
Kristi published a book by the same name based on her blog which I have and love too. When she finished up with her blog a couple of years ago it was to move onto her lifelong dream of publishing a novel. After hearing it was a crime novel I admit I was a little disappointed as this was totally not the type of reading material I usually went for.
I shy away from crime tv programmes as they’re too gory for me and for the same reason I had never tried mystery/crime/thriller/suspense novels.
Well, between then and now, something happened. I don’t know why, but I started reading mystery and crime novels and really enjoyed them. Can I say page turner anyone? Among my usual diet of chick lit, chic lit and contemporary fiction, I’ve read and enjoyed Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, both Robert Galbraith’s (JK Rowling’s) novels The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm and also One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis.
So when Kristi’s first mystery novel Blessed Are The Dead was published in paperback recently I was amped up to read it!
From the first page to the last Blessed Are The Dead is well-paced and kept me reading on. There are parts of this book which had my heart palpitating and me feeling as nervous as if I were in the actual situation with the characters before I brought myself back with ‘they’re just words on a page’ (truly!). And I did rethink whether Blessed are the Dead should be the last thing I read before drifting off to sleep (but I did, I couldn’t help myself).
I loved the main character, Gabriella, in particular the details that Kristi gave her that made her very human and almost like a real person. I loved to read about the clothes Gabriella might have thrown on that day, what simple yet delightful dish she cooked in her tiny apartment, her big Italian family and their boisterous dinners, and her wise Grandmother with old Italian sayings.
Something else I thought was very well done were the details Kristi included in this book about working in a busy newspaper office and how she interacted with the police and also the interviews in jail. They seemed very realistic and Kristi has obviously done a great deal of research into the twisted mind of a psychopath in addition to recalling her time as a newspaper crime reporter.
Even though some of the subject material is quite grim, I left this book with a good feeling, like I’d met someone (Gabrielle) that I’d really like to get to know better. And of course her developing new romance with Donovan is delightful as well. I’ve just received the second book in this series and can’t wait to start reading it (both times I used Book Depository).
Well done Kristi, on writing a series I would be happy to recommend to anyone looking for a great read. You are a real inspiration to go after your ultimate dream. Look what can happen!