October Releases

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Indie Book Review: Bella by Steve Piacente

Authors: Steve Piacente
Format: Paperback
Release Date: June 13, 2012
Pages: 266
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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Synopsis from Goodreads

Isabel Moss knew she might lose her husband when he went off to war.
When the call came, she was almost ready.
What stopped her cold was the second call…

    Huge thanks to Steve Piacente for providing this book. Also a huge thanks to Danielle over at BookWhore for the giveaway and book club for Bella. Now I didn't know exactly what to expect with this book. I usually don't read military conspiracy books. But I must say, given the style of the book and the story, I was very intrigued.

    We have our main character, Danny. He is a journalist. So, of course, he is looking for the next big thing. It drops in his lap when a beautiful woman named Isabelle (Bella) comes to him and tells him about her dead husband Hank. He died in battle. Problem is, it was by friendly fire and the Army covered it up and said it was by the enemy. Bella tells him an anonymous caller told her that the Army lied. Danny doesn't believe her and knows something is off about her. But he eventually starts to work with her to get to the truth and finds she may not be as crazy as he thought.

    I really liked the story. It was a great mystery to try and figure out. I love the chase of the story and where it goes. What seems like the story of a grieving widow, turns into thriller that has you looking over your shoulder every five seconds. I love that not only are we trying to figure out if the Army is lying, but we also try to figure out Bella. Is she lying? Is she looking for sympathy by putting on a performance?

    I also love the way the story is written. It has a style all on its own. Piacente definitely has a way with words. The dialogue was great between the characters and was quick. I at least imagined it that way. Just nice and snappy. This book had a sort of film noir feel to it. It had a great vibe.

    The characters, however, are a bit questionable. Danny is great at his job, but everything else has been thrown out the window. He has a wife and a kid, but he doesn't really act like a father or a husband. Then when Bella shows up, he is getting all sort of red flags (from himself and his colleagues). But he won't listen. He pissed me off. Then there is Bella who I didn't like from the beginning and disliked even more near the end. Her story is definitely heart-wrenching, but it doesn't excuse her actions.

     Overall, I did enjoy the story a lot. You do get to the bottom of things, but I am not sure if Bella herself was satisfied with it. This is the very first book I have read where I felt the need to slap nearly everyone in it. As a matter of fact, I wanted them to fight each other. I mean, come on! The book is pretty realistic except for that aspect. Once you read it, you'll understand what I mean. The ending felt pretty rushed, but we get all we need really. This is a quiet thriller. No Jason Bourne-like scenes or secrets that are beyond explosive (was expecting that second one), but it still has an impact. I would recommend this for those who love a good mystery/thriller.


*This book belongs to the following challenges*
BCC's Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2012

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