Sunday, September 17, 2017

Gia in the City of the Dead by Kristi Belcamino: Reading Room Review


Whoa! Kristi Belcamino has done it! She has created yet another take-charge, intoxicating character who is a fierce protector of those she loves. The new girl in town is named Gia Valentina Santella, and she is smoking awesome. Belcamino's first kick-ass series' character was Gabriella Giovanni, and I have been such a fan of Gabriella that I was a bit skeptical of falling quickly for another contender. But, when this author writes, this reader falls, into storytelling and characters compelling to the core.

Gia Santella is adrift in the world. Drinking herself into oblivion, driving fast cars fast, one-night stands, and spending her well-endowed bank account as fast as she can. Living in San Francisco in a luxury apartment overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, she is the quintessential Italian Princess, disconnected to any meaningful existence. The death of her beloved parents two years earlier has frozen the capacity of the twenty-three-year-old to move forward with her life. As it turns out, she must move backwards first anyway. 

Having been told that her parents, who were living in Geneva at the time of their deaths, had died in a house fire, Gia is shocked back into the land of the living when a letter arrives from the coroner's wife stating that the Santellas' deaths were no accident. The letter makes it clear that Gia's parents were murdered. This revelation comes right on the heels of a new death in her family, her estranged brother's. The Santella family is slowly slipping into nonexistence, and Gia must use her physical training as a student of Budo karate and her plentiful intelligence to avoid becoming the last coffin in the crypt and finding out who murdered her family. Knowing who to trust is the first tangled web that Gia must unsnarl. However, even care must be taken with those she can trust, because the success of her mission could mean their deaths. Gia Santella begins a life on the run, searching for answers from Monterey to San Franciso to Geneva to Sicily and back to Colma, California that is the City of the Dead. There is not one dull moment in that search.

Kristi Belcamino has a gift, telling thrilling stories with all the excitement they demand. The plots, the action, the descriptions, the characters are all so brilliantly thought out and executed. I am ecstatic that readers have yet another prodigious protagonist and spectacular series to enjoy. Kudos to Kristi, again!

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