Over the course of four novels, Kristi Belcamino has put Gabriella Giovanni through the wringer. Having faced off against a serial killer, dealt with her boyfriend being accused of murder, suffered through a heart-breaking miscarriage, and later the kidnapping of her lovely daughter, Gabriella has had to dig to depths of emotion most people only face in their nightmares. Fortunately for readers – if not so much for Gabriella herself – Kristi Belcamino is not yet done with this excellent series.
In a slight change of pace for the series, Blessed are the Peacemakers is very much a traditional thriller and it finds Gabriella completely out of her comfort zone – not to mention way outside of San Francisco, California. Shortly after the novel opens, Gabriella is given the news that her husband has died while on a DEA agency assignment in the jungles of Guatemala. Unable to get past her grief, Gabriella decides that she must travel to Uaxactun to bring home the body of her beloved.
With the help of a local guide named Rafael, Gabriella treks deep into the Guatemalan jungles to find closure – both physically and mentally. Little does she know that she is about to face off against vicious mercenaries, deadly animals, and Mayan spirits – all while trying to come to terms with her growing attraction to a mysterious stranger.
The suspenseful and thrilling elements in Kristi Belcamino’s plots are always on-point, but what keeps readers coming back to this series is the emotional connections between her characters, which serve to elevate the Gabriella Giovanni novels above the competition. Blessed are the Peacemakers is no exception. In order to make it out of this one alive, Gabriella is going to have to find a level of strength she didn’t know she had.
Kristi Belcamino’s skill at bringing characters to life comes from the way she fearlessly allows them to make mistakes. She imbues them with humanity by avoiding the genre’s tendency to craft ultra-perfect specimens of skill, wit, and wisdom. Readers will cringe as they see Gabriella making decisions that are clearly flawed, but because they have been on this multi-book journey with her, readers will also understand the emotional motivation behind these actions and will be unable to fault Gabriella for the choices she ultimately makes.
To say more would be to venture into spoiler territory (something to be avoided at all costs.) Just know that this is a thrilling journey into the darkest reaches of the jungle and bottomless depths of the human heart. By the end of Blessed are the Peacemakers, Kristi Belcamino has put into play several threads which will work to carry this series for several more volumes. There is a gravitas to this novel’s resolution that will keep readers longing to see how this changes things for the characters moving forward into the future. That is good news for readers – albeit not so good news for Gabriella Giovanni.
Disclaimer: A copy of this title were provided to BOLO Books by the author. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.