About the Book
Alabaster Black aka Bianca Nerini returns as an investigation into a public official’s assassination pits Bianca and her friends against a backdrop of financial speculation, female assassins on motorcycles, and the Camorra—the most ruthless of Italian organized crime gangs—in Gabriel Valjan’s TURNING TO STONE, the fourth book of the highly praised Roma series.
En route to a secret meeting, Aldo Giurlani—the regional commissioner of Lombardy in northern Italy and a specialist on organized crime—is assassinated in the middle of a public square.
More mysterious is the package sent to Giurlani’s hand-picked team of five top investigators within the Guardia di Finanza (GdF), the Italian law enforcement agency that investigates illegal financial transactions, from money laundering to drug trafficking. Within the package are five copies of a book entitled Man of Smoke written by Aldo Palazzeschi.
Then there is Bianca’s tenuous online contact with a mysterious online contact known as Loki, who delivers a cryptic message to her, takes on a new twist with the appearance of a brilliant young obsessive-compulsive man who joins her team.
Complicating matters even further, old enemies and, more problematically, Alabaster’s former employer—Rendition, a murky covert U.S. government agency that does more than just investigate financial crimes—still have grudges to bear against her.
As new mysteries unfold, Bianca’s group quickly discovers that Naples might just be the most dangerous city in Italy.
Readers looking for a suspenseful thriller with mysterious twists and turns abounding will love Gabriel Valjan’s TURNING TO STONE.
I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.
Turning to Stone is the fourth book in the Roma Series. I read the first three books in the series, Roma, Underground, Wasp’s Nest, and Threading the Needle and was looking forward to reading this one. The characters are starting to feel like old friends.
Alabaster Black, aka Bianca Nerini and Dante, her boyfriend, and his team are once again faced with a murder mystery that turns out to open a can of worms. There are many twists in Turning to Stone and this time they are faced with the Italian mafia. Gabriel Valjan based a lot of this story on fact which makes it rather disturbing.
With each book, I learn more about each character. Bianca and Dante are still together but they don’t spend enough time with each other. I’m often afraid that they’re going to part ways but they do seem to be in love and will, hopefully, be able to stay together and keep each other happy. Dante’s team works well together, and with Bianca, each bringing something unique to the table.
Gabriel Valjan’s writing flows well. He always incorporates Italian history and there is a surprise or two in Turning to Stone. I’m looking forward to reading the next book, Corporate Citizen. There is an excerpt from it at the end of Turning to Stone so, of course, now I need to find out what is going to happen.
About the Author
Gabriel Valjan lives in New England, but has traveled extensively, receiving his undergraduate education in California and completing graduate school in England. Ronan Bennett short-listed him for the 2010 Fish Short Story Prize for his Boston noir, Back in the Day. His short stories and poetry have appeared in literary journals and online magazines.