Book Review: ‘Corporate Citizen,’ by Gabriel Valjan
A dead call girl named Norma Jean Baker strangled with piano strings at a high-end apartment, a secret drug, Russians, the US military, a whizz hacker named Magician, and perfect assassins–Need I hook you more? Corporate Citizen is Book 5 in Gabriel Valjan’s Roma Series and when it comes to an exciting story filled with mystery and intrigue he never disappoints.
In this instalment, which starts with immediate action and suspense, forensic accountant Bianca Nerini/Alabaster Black and her Italian and American team fly to Boston in order to help old friend and retired police officer Clemente from being implicated in a crime he believes he’s being framed for. Another suspect is troubled ex-vet Nick Adams, who in spite of having several combat decorations doesn’t remember any of the fighting.
What did the military do to him? It becomes evident the government doesn’t want anyone to know what happened to him or where he was while in uniform. Bianca and her team must find the doctor who treated Adams and check his records in order to determine key information that will lead to a digital trail. The problem is, the body count starts as they get close to the truth, and time is running out…
This was a great read. Having read and reviewed all of the books in this series, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing their adventures and of getting to know these characters and watch their evolution as human beings. By now they feel like real people I know and care about, which is one of the great perks of following a series.
Bianca is a strong protagonist, incredibly smart and pragmatic, though in this instalment we see a more vulnerable side of her as her drift with ex-lover and colleague Dante continues and she grows dangerously close to suspect Nick Adams. I love the witty banter between the characters, which serves as a nice relief between the almost continuous tension. As always, there’s delicious Italian food while our sophisticated team discusses their investigation, and the technology is well-researched and realistic, sure to satisfy tech-savvy readers. All these elements make Corporate Citizen highly recommended for those who love a good mystery.