Gabriella Giovanni’s big Italian-American family can’t understand why she chooses her adrenaline-pumping career as a San Francisco Bay Area newspaper reporter over being married with little bambinos running around. Gabriella spends her days on the crime beat flitting in and out of other people’s nightmares and then walking away unscathed. That’s because for twenty years Gabriella has avoided confronting her own dark childhood memories: her sister’s kidnapping and murder followed by her father’s sudden death three days later.
But her ability to avoid her past dissolves in an instant when a little girl disappears on the way to the school bus stop. 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 serial kidnapper and murderer and promises to reveal his secrets to her alone. Meanwhile, her passion for her job quickly spirals into obsession when she begins to suspect the kidnapper also killed her sister. When the biggest newspaper in town scoops her on the story, Gabriella begins to believe the fate of her career and the mystery of what happened to her sister both lie in the hands of the kidnapper. When he is sprung from jail on a technicality, Gabriella risks her life to meet with him, hoping to find answers that will help her confront her past and heal her deep psychological wounds.
For her debut novel, BLESSED ARE THE DEAD (Witness, on sale 6/10/2014, $2.99, ISBN 13: 9780062338907), Kristi Belcamino relies on her knowledge gained from working as a crime reporter at newspapers in California, specifically in her experience with a serial killer who police and FBI agents liked to several kidnappings and murders. Belcamino’s personal past colors this smart, thrilling novel with a unique new voice.
BLESSED ARE THE DEAD offers chilling, authentic glimpses into the mind of a psychopath while also mining the psyche of an extremely likeable protagonist. The novel sets up a new series featuring Gabriella Giovanni, an Italian-American Bay Area crime reporter. BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, the second book in the series will be published in July.