Fully Exposed – Day 28

Posted by on April 28, 2014




On Sundays, some of you already know, my routine is this: Mass, after party at my mother-in-laws house with tons of family, and then work at the newspaper.

But this weekend, something amazing happened. THIS:


A Review: New Crime Novel By Kristi Belcamino
Posted on April 24, 2014by Bruce DeSilva

Gabriella Giovanni, police reporter for a daily newspaper in the San Francisco Bay area, is passionate about her work; but a younger colleague is trying to steal her job, and her boss is eager to push her out.

So there’s a lot at stake for Gabriella when a big story, the kidnapping and murder of a little girl named Jasmine, happens on her beat. It’s the sort of story that can be emotionally draining for any reporter, but it’s a lot tougher on Gabriella, who’s still suffering from survivor guilt over the childhood kidnapping and murder of her older sister Caterina.

The story gets tougher still when a cab driver named Jack Dean Johnson, the only suspect in Jasmine’s kidnapping, refuses to speak with anyone but Gabriella. He intimates that he’s killed dozens of little girls. And one of them, he hints, just might have been Caterina.

That is the premise of Blessed Are the Dead by Kristi Belcamino, a crime novel so skillfully executed that it’s hard to believe it’s her debut.

In Gabriella, the author has created a compelling, utterly believable character who is at once vulnerable and tough as they come. The supporting cast, including the police detectives, the cunning villain, and denizens of the newsroom, spring to life from the page. The plot is as suspenseful as they come. And the gritty prose, distinguished by short, muscular sentences, is truly first-rate.

Belcamino’s own experience as a police reporter infuses her story with realism. She covered some high-profile cases including the Laci Peterson murder and the disappearance of Chandra Levy. And she also reported on a serial killer linked to the murders of little girls, a case that inspired the novel.

Blessed Are the Dead, intended as the first in a series of novels about Gabriella Giovanni, is scheduled to be released by William Morrow on June 10.

Here is a little about Bruce. (You can see why I’m so thrilled with his praise!)

Bruce DeSilva’s crime fiction has won the Edgar and Macavity Awards; has been listed as a finalist for the Shamus, Anthony, and Barry Awards; and has been published in ten foreign languages. His short stories have appeared in several anthologies including Akashic Press’s award-winning urban noir series.

He has reviewed crime fiction for The New York Times Sunday Book Review, Publishers Weekly, and The Strand Magazine, and his book reviews written for The Associated Press have appeared in hundreds of print and online publications.

Previously, he was a journalist for forty years, most recently as writing coach world-wide for The Associated Press. Earlier in his career, he worked as an editor and national writer at The Hartford Courant and as an investigative reporter at The Providence Journal. Stories edited by DeSilva have won nearly every major journalism prize including the Polk Award (twice), the Livingston (twice), the Robert F. Kennedy, the Ernie Pyle and the Batten Medal. He edited two Pulitzer finalists and helped edit a Pulitzer winner.

DeSilva has worked as a consultant for more than fifty news organizations, taught at the University of Michigan and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and lectured at Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation. He has been a sought-after speaker at professional gatherings including the National Writers Workshops, the Abroad Writers’ Conference, Bouchercon, and Thrillerfest.

He and his wife, the poet Patricia Smith, live in New Jersey with an enormous Bernese Mountain Dog named Brady, and a big loveable mutt named Rondo.

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