Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Five Before Rome: 5 preludes to the Roma Series by Gabriel Valjan (Review and Giveaway!)

Five Before Rome is a prequel that gives the new reader an idea of Valjan's excellent writing. If you haven't read any of his works, this is a fine place to start. 

Book Details:

Book Title: Five Before Rome: 5 preludes to the Roma Series by Gabriel Valjan
Category: Adult fiction, 215 pages
Genre: International Crime Thriller
Publisher: Wild Goose Publishing
Release date: June 2020
Tour dates: July 7 to July 27, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 + M. There is violence (not graphic) and mention of child abuse by the clergy. There are 4 instances of the f-word.

Book Description:

These five novellas precede Roma, Underground, the first novel in the Roma Series. Meet the five men, who form the team around Bianca, and learn about their personal history, their respective parts of Italy, and why they each have a stake in the fight against organized crime.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Five years ago, when I first read the beginning chapters of Roma, Underground I knew I would love the book. I went on to read the rest of the four books in the series. Gabriel Valjan understands the Italian culture, history, and geography and it was such a pleasure to read how he portrayed them in his novels.

The five stories in Five Before Rome, each revolving around the five men that are part of this series, brought back to mind the characters and the stories that I liked so much. It made me want to reread the books. I enjoyed all five stories, but Gennaro's story Dance of the Spider was my favorite, showing us a vulnerable side to him. Silvio's story The Fallen One was the one that touched me the most, however, and ultimately, it was a sad one. And the last story Five Before Rome was excellent, reminding me of the series as these men worked together with camaraderie to solve a crime.

Valjan includes extensive notes at the end of the book that explains Italian expressions and words, tidbits on past events, historical figures and geographical locations, all of which serve to enhance the reading experience (and make me realize how knowledgeable this author is!)

Five Before Rome is a prequel that gives the new reader an idea of Valjan's excellent writing. For those who have read one or all books in the Roma series, this will make you want to read more of Valjan's work. Highly recommended for fans of Italian mafia stories, international crime fiction and thrillers.

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About the Author:

Gabriel Valjan lives in Boston’s South End where he enjoys the local restaurants. When he isn’t appeasing Munchkin, his cat, with tuna, he documents the #dogsofsouthendboston on Instagram. His short stories have appeared online, in journals, and in several anthologies. Gabriel is the author of two series, Roma and Company Files, with Winter Goose Publishing. He was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery for Company Files 2: The Naming Game in 2020.

Gabriel has been a finalist for the Fish Prize, shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and received an Honorable Mention for the Nero Wolfe Black Orchid Novella Contest in 2018. Dirty Old Town, the first in the Shane Cleary series, was published in 2020 by Level Best Books. Gabriel attends crime fiction conferences, such as Bouchercon, Malice Domestic, and New England Crime Bake. He is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime.

Connect with the author: 

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  1. Thank you for the kind words and for reading Five Before Rome.

  2. i enjoyed the series and found book 5 to be my favorite. a fabulous ending to the series. i keep meaning to grab more of his work, but right now, i am trying to scale back on R2R
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. I enjoyed all the books but the first one in the series was my favorite.


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