Sunday, December 29, 2013
A Bullet for Carlos
By: Giacomo Giammatteo   Reviewed by OFW editor: RenĂ©e Miller
Published: June 07, 2014


From the cover:

Detective Connie Giannelli's life has been torn apart several times. First when her mother died and then years later when she found out her Uncle Dominic was in the mob. Her life is about to be shredded again, and this time it could destroy her.

Connie’s love of family and her badge are both threatened when an undercover drug bust leaves two cops dead and the drugs missing. Internal Affairs is looking for any excuse to take her badge, but she’s not worried about them finding the missing drugs—her secrets could prove to be far worse.

Now Connie’s racing against the clock to figure out who killed her partners and took the drugs—dirty cops or Uncle Dominic’s friends. And she has to do it before IA pins the whole damn thing on her. 

“A Bullet for Carlos” is an engaging and action-packed crime thriller with a bit of literary goodness whipped in for extra flavor. I found it interesting that I related so fully to the protagonist, Connie Gianelli, because she’s not the type of character I usually enjoy. However, as I read, I rooted for her so fully that my love or hatred of the other characters became based on how helpful they were to her and her goals. A couple of characters, her “uncle” primarily, had me changing my opinion of them every other page.

The novel begins at full tilt, dragging the reader in almost immediately. Opening with a drug bust gone wrong, the reader dives into unraveling the mystery that follows. You are neck and neck with Connie as she tries to figure out what the hell is going on and “who did it” while also trying to keep her Mob relatives from making a mess of things. For much of the story I found myself dreading their inevitable involvement, because their efforts to help Connie only seem to muddle things further. However, events turn in an unexpected way, and the reader is left wondering how she didn’t see the twist coming. I could tell you how it all plays out, but that would ruin the experience.

Giammatteo has littered “A Bullet for Carlos” with love, loyalty, violence, action, family and the classic good versus evil theme, all of which combines to make an intense and engaging story that almost any reader can slip into. Giammatteo has an easy and comfortable writing style, with clean prose and solid dialogue. Instead of bogging the narrative down in lingo and fancy words, he lets the characters carry you through the plot, which is refreshing.

When I arrived at “The End” I realized that this book is the first in a series that features Connie, Carlos and the rest of her Mob pals (I use the term ‘pals’ lightly in some cases). While it is part of a series, I didn’t feel cheated because this novel easily stands alone. It was a satisfying ending that leaves the decision to read the next book up to the reader’s tastes, and not the need to find out what happened. 

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Jim Giammatteo   
Sunday, 02 Dec 2012 08:48 PM  via Facebook

Renée: Thanks for taking the time to review the book, and to share it with your readers. I'm so glad you enjoyed Connie's character. I struggled with this book, as this was the first time I did a female protag, and in first person POV. Thanks again for the kind words. 



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