Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Gia and the Forgotten Island by Kristi Belcamino: Reading Room Review

Gia Valentina Santella is back for a second novel, and she is ramping up the action in her chosen neighborhood of the Tenderloin in San Francisco. Having lost her parents, her brother, and her godfather to murder in the recent past, Gia has adopted the people of the Tenderloin as her family, those that she will fight for with all her being. Of course, Gia is also fighting her own demons of drinking, personal relationships, and inherited business responsibilities. Still, this young Italian-American woman is a karate-trained, intelligent, passionate, and resourceful person who is willing to jump into the fray to protect or save those about whom she cares. Author Kristi Belcamino gives us this wonderful character who is able to rise above her own hot mess of a self and be the person who anyone would be lucky to have on their side. 

With enough inherited money to generously give to herself and others, Gia is having her old apartment building that burned to the ground rebuilt with major improvements for all the tenants who lost their homes and possessions in the fire. After all, it was because of Gia that the fire was set. While waiting for the building to be finished, Gia catches wind of the disappearance of some the Tenderloin’s homeless, in particular, African-American homeless. When a hate group decides to hold a rally in Gia’s beloved area, counter-protestors show up, too, and there are those attending bent on provoking the peaceful protestors. Then Gia’s friend Darling’s granddaughter, who is a journalist for the U.C. Berkley student newspaper is kidnapped from the rally, and the Darling asks Gia for her help in finding Sasha. Sasha was working on a story that would rock the political scene in San Francisco, so her disappearance is especially alarming and time to find her is of the essence. With Darling counting on Gia, we see the best of what Gia can be, and we see it in non-stop action. In her pursuit of Sasha, Gia will uncover a heinous plan to destroy the Tenderloin. The stakes are high in this latest Gia Santella adventure, and every page is a thrill to read.

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