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Book Review - "Blessed Are Those Who Weep" by Kristi Belcamino

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the books category link on the right side bar.

9780062389404_p0_v5_s260x420Blessed Are Those Who Weep by Kristi Belcamino is an excellent crime novel.  From the very first page readers are grabbed with the storyline.  The theme is very relevant to real-life since it concentrates on when to let go.  There are multiple sub-plots that center around obsession:  a killer obsessed with obtaining his form of justice, and the main character obsessed with her personal life.

The book opens with San Francisco Bay Area reporter Gabriella Giovanni stumbling onto a horrific crime scene with only one survivor, a baby girl.  After experiencing this butchery she is determined to find the killer that made this helpless baby an orphan.  Being a crime reporter herself, the author shows how some reporter’s, as with some police, cannot let go of their cases. Did Gabriella cross the line by allowing herself to become too emotionally involved with the child? 

What makes this book special is the backstory of each character including the antagonist, and some personal issues that the everyday person can relate with. Gabriella is flawed and has realistic problems ranging from being passive-aggressive with her boyfriend, trying to cope with a miscarriage, obsessed with finding her sister’s killer as well as the murderer of the family she found. This complex character has a past that not only haunts her, but also defines much of her present life.

Because of a recent miscarriage Gabriella is in a vulnerable state and attempts to overcome it by becoming pregnant.  What is most interesting is how Belcamino shows that the father also is emotionally tied to the fetus.  Through Gabriella’s fiancé, Sean Donovan, readers understand that he also has feelings that should not be discarded.

The author explained how her personal experiences influenced the storyline, “I fell into writing with my first book in an effort to rid myself of the memory of this man, Curtis Dean Anderson who kidnapped and killed this young girl. I have spoken on the phone with the mother who has two other children about how we can never be normal parents. Both of us spent countless hours in a dark visiting room talking to this predator in an attempt to get him to reveal his crimes. As the mother of two small little girls, I was especially haunted by all of the horrible things he had told me. By writing the book, I was essentially engaging in a form of self-administered therapy, and purging him out of my head. Getting it all out of my head and on paper did help.”

Donovan is an Irish police detective who tries to help Gabriella out of her emotional abyss.  He is good looking, kind, caring, and considerate.  In this plot he does not take an active role in the investigation, but is front and center in the relationship storyline. 

The antagonist is also someone who suffers since he saw some horrific things while serving in Iraq shortly after 9/11.  Through his experiences readers begin to understand that many in the US military risk their lives while getting little support after returning home.  Within the plot line is a discussion of military suicides and what is being done about it. 

Belcamino commented to, “Several of my family members are active duty.  I worry about them and the support they are getting.  I do not think there is enough support for them when they come home.  I hope to show the effects they are experiencing since I am not sure people are aware of it.  I want to encourage more awareness.”

Blessed Are Those Who Weep is a story dealing with betrayal, manipulation, cover-up, and obsession.  It has a gripping plot and believable characters.  Although many social issues are discussed it is done through a riveting action packed story.  The intensity begins with the very first page and does not let up.