The first book in the Gabriella Giovanni Mystery Series (June 10, 2014), nominated for an Anthony and Macavity awards for best first mystery novel.
In her debut novel, Kristi Belcamino pulls from her experience working as a newspaper crime reporter in California—specifically her dealings with a serial killer—to craft this smart, thrilling novel with a unique new voice.
BLESSED ARE THE DEAD pits Gabriella Giovanni against a serial killer who preys on children. When they were little girls, Gabriella Giovanni’s sister was kidnapped and killed. Twenty years later, Gabriella spends her days on the crime beat flitting in and out of other people’s nightmares and walking away unscathed. That changes when a little girl disappears and Gabriella’s quest for justice and a front-page story leads her to a convicted kidnapper who reels her in with tales of his exploits as a longtime serial killer and his promises to reveal his secrets to her alone. Meanwhile, Gabriella’s passion for her job quickly spirals into obsession when she begins to suspect the kidnapper also killed her sister. Gabriella won’t hesitate to risk her life to garner justice for the dead.
“… a crime novel so skillfully executed that it’s hard to believe it’s her debut … The plot is as suspenseful as they come. And the gritty prose, distinguished by short, muscular sentences, is truly first-rate.”
—Bruce DeSilva, Edgar-award winning author of the Mulligan crime novels.
“Blessed are the Dead is a great read, Gabriella Giovanni is a one-of-a-kind character, and Kristi Belcamino is a writer to watch.”
—David Corbett, award-winning author of DO THEY KNOW I’M RUNNING?
“Belcamino puts her experience on the crime beat to good use, creating the kind of villain who’ll lurk in your nightmares long after the book ends. Double-check your locks before you crack this one open!”
— Owen Laukkanen, award-winning author of THE PROFESSIONALS
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BLESSED ARE THE DEAD REVIEWS
“BLESSED ARE THE DEAD is a remarkable debut that drags you to the edge of your seat with compelling characters, dark secrets and a deadly killer. Belcamino knows the ins and outs of the newspaper game and writes like a seasoned pro. She’s created a protagonist in Gabriella Giovanni that has the makings of a character fans will be following for years to come – flawed, emotional and relatable. A must-read.“
– Alex Segura, acclaimed author of SILENT CITY
“BLESSED ARE THE DEAD is a fast-paced, suspenseful read. Savvy San Francisco reporter Gabriella Giovanni is tough, vulnerable and complex — a terrific new series character.”
— Alison Gaylin, USA Today Bestselling Author of the Brenna Spector series
“Fans of acclaimed shows like The Killing and True Detective will devour BLESSED ARE THE DEAD. Belcamino is a strong female voice in a genre dominated by men. I can’t wait for the next installment in this thrilling series!” — Bethany Neal, acclaimed author of MY LAST KISS
“Can’t recommend this book enough. A great debut mystery that doesn’t feel anything like a debut. … Suspenseful, emotional and smart – just a great mystery in every way.” — Jeff Shelby, bestselling author of the Noah Braddock novels.
What reviewers are saying:
“This is a nail-biting thriller with a charming protagonist that readers will want to visit time and time again.”— Mason Canyon
“This is a suspenseful story with lots of action. It would make a great movie. I’m already looking forward to the next book.” — Jo Ann Hakola at the Book Faerie.
“I will not lie, I was stressed till the end. Which must explain why I loved the book. It is thought provoking. This is a book that will stick with you. I have memory loss and most books are the same story, different name. Blessed are the Dead will not be one of those.” —Two Brain Book Reviewers
“… a compelling thriller about murder and survival. I was stunned to learn this was a debut novel – Belcamino was clearly meant to be a storyteller!” — The Reading Cafe
“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.” Fiona at How To Be Chic
“Once you start reading this book you won’t want to put it down. I did a “binge read” that lasted until 1 a.m. with my husband ocassionally muttering, “Are you still awake?” Still awake? I was tingling with excitement. … She has given us a rich cast of characters that are very real that I don’t think I will tire of anytime soon.” — Jodi Webb
“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.” – Babel at Literaria
“Gabriella Giovanni makes her living digging for the truth. It’s her job to find evil and report it to the world … And like an evil spider sitting at the center of a nasty, rotten web sits a nasty, rotten evil bastard of a villain that may be responsible for the loss of her sister.” — Dan Malmon at Crimespree Magazine.
“… the success of Blessed are the Dead rests squarely on Gabriella’s shoulders. Kristi Belcamino has created a complex heroine with strong ties to her Italian heritage. Gabriella has a good heart, but also features enough realistic flaws to encourage readers to return to the series again and again. Fans of series fiction will want to know more about Gabriella and the rest of the Giovanni family and will happily read Kristi Belcamino’s future novels in order to do so. …Hopefully reviews like this one will encourage readers to sample Belcamino’s writing – because once they do, they will be fans for life.” – BOLO Books
What readers like YOU are saying*:
“… the author deftly gives us an inside glimpse into the world of a big city crime reporter … It’s all here in such vivid detail, it’s unmistakably the writing of someone who has been there, done that — which Belcamino has, it turns out, even down to the interviews with a serial killer. This is authentic stuff, not the result of Google research and fancy wordplay. ” — Meg Bratsch
“Kristi Belcamino has just added a fiery Italian bombshell to the pantheon of best selling fictional detectives. Gabriella Giovanni is right up there with Alex Cross, Kay Scarpetta, Kinsey Milhone, and all the big names. She’s like Sophia Loren fighting Clarise Starling’s demons. And the bad guy, Jack Dean Johnson, is believably creepy. The dialogue in his scenes really sticks with you. Since finishing the book, I’ve been keeping an extra close eye on my kids. (I’ve also been making more pasta.)” — Samantha
“Blessed are the Dead has everything I love in a novel. Kristi grabs your attention right away with her characters, but she doesn’t dwell too long introducing characters (that always loses me); she jumps into the plot and weaves the character into the story as she goes. … There is just the right amount of intrigue, violence and romance in this novel and I’m anxious to see what happens in her second novel Blessed are the Meek. — V. Johnson
“Wow, simultaneously disturbing and fascinating, Belcamino’s story gives you a peek into the mind of a serial killer. And no, it’s not pretty. Not at all. … BLESSED ARE THE DEAD kept me up more than a few nights — both due to an inability to stop reading and because of the chilling plot. Great debut — can’t wait for the follow up BLESSED ARE THE MEEK.” — Kimberly J. Smith
“This is a story to take in one sitting like a deep breath you hold while traveling through the many tunnels of the Bay area. Take this journey–you won’t regret it. It’s a sick ride that will make you watch behind the bushes while entering your house at night and question your co-worker’s motivation to climb the ladder at any cost. Just make sure you double bolt the doors before settling in”. — Marie Rickmyer
“I couldn’t put it down. As a fan of the mystery series of Patterson, Cornwall and Scottoline it’s been a long time since I read a book as good as Kristi Belcamino’s. I’m very surprised it’s her debut book. It gripped me from the beginning and held me to the end.” — Lisa C.
“A mystery with a ripping plot about a serial killer and the newspaper reporter who becomes the Clarice Starling to his Hannibal Lecter. Gabriella is a great main character: flawed, relate-able, hard-nosed and Italian Catholic. Loved the details of the newsroom. Her killer, based on a real-life one, is chillingly credible. Plus there’s humor, romance, and family drama throughout that elevates this well beyond a by-the-numbers thriller.” — Kristin Boldon
“Journalists are distinct breed, each with their own set of rules, obligations and personality quirks. Perhaps none are as driven in the single-minded pursuit of the story more than the crime beat reporter. They walk a fine line between two conflicting worlds — the cops and criminals. They need to get close to both in order to get the story, yet they can’t allow themselves to venture too deeply into either world. In Kristi Belcamino’s new book, she masterfully writes about this dance along the tight rope. It is not only a hold-your-breath thriller, but it also is a very accurate portrait of the police beat reporter and the newspaper business. You’ll be just as fascinated with Gabriella’s personal torment as you are at the glimpse into the demented mind of a serial child killer.” — L.J. Morris
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