Blog Book Tour | “Turning to Stone” by Gabriel Valjan

Posted Saturday, 24 October, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Turning to Stone” hosted by Italy Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Winter Goose Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Originally intended to read the series:

Although my first preference is to read series in the sequence they are intended to be read, there are on occasion a few hiccups towards that goal. For me, with the Roma series it was a combination of time delays to ILL the series through my local library and the circumstances of Summer where the lightning storms wrecked a lot of chaos into my reading life. Despite knowing I might have to read a series out of sequence didn’t deter me from being on the blog tour, because this has happened a few times before (such as with the Maisie Dobbs series and Bess Crawford series) and I was able to pick up the threads of the stories despite my late entry.

A word about the publisher Winter Goose Publishing:

I enjoy doing a bit of groundwork to learn about new publishers I haven’t yet come across in my literary wanderings, and finding Winter Goose Publishing was a bit of a treat, as I appreciated reading their story! (see their About page) I appreciate finding publishers (Small Trade, Major Trade and Indies) focusing on authors and their stories rather than the bottom-line. It is one thing to turn a profit but to sacrifice a story simply based on market trends in literature I never felt was a good way to go. I applaud Indie publishers who are trusting their instincts on stories and celebrating the writers who are writing stories that do not become set against ‘trends’ but rather the stories they are motivate to create.

The fact they are choosing a printer for the books who has green printing practices and certification’s to perfect where the paper is being sourced is another bonus.

Blog Book Tour | “Turning to Stone” by Gabriel ValjanTurning to Stone
by Gabriel Valjan
Source: Publisher via Italy Book Tours

Alabaster Black aka Bianca Nerini returns as an investigation into a public official’s assassination pits Bianca and her friends against a backdrop of financial speculation, female assassins on motorcycles, and the Camorra—the most ruthless of Italian organized crime gangs—in Gabriel Valjan’s TURNING TO STONE, the fourth book of the highly praised Roma series.

En route to a secret meeting, Aldo Giurlani—the regional commissioner of Lombardy in northern Italy and a specialist on organized crime—is assassinated in the middle of a public square.

More mysterious is the package sent to Giurlani’s hand-picked team of five top investigators within the Guardia di Finanza (GdF), the Italian law enforcement agency that investigates illegal financial transactions, from money laundering to drug trafficking. Within the package are five copies of a book entitled Man of Smoke written by Aldo Palazzeschi.

Then there is Bianca’s tenuous online contact with a mysterious online contact known as Loki, who delivers a cryptic message to her, takes on a new twist with the appearance of a brilliant young obsessive-compulsive man who joins her team.

Complicating matters even further, old enemies and, more problematically, Alabaster’s former employer—Rendition, a murky covert U.S. government agency that does more than just investigate financial crimes—still have grudges to bear against her.

As new mysteries unfold, Bianca’s group quickly discovers that Naples might just be the most dangerous city in Italy.

Readers looking for a suspenseful thriller with mysterious twists and turns abounding will love Gabriel Valjan’s TURNING TO STONE.

Genres: Crime Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781941058237

Published by Winter Goose Publishing

on 15th June 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Available Formats: Paperback and E-book

This is book four of the Roma Series:

Book 1 Synopsis | Book 2 Synopsis | Book 3 Synopsis

Roma Underground by Gabriel ValjanWasp's Nest by Gabriel ValjanThreading the Needle by Gabriel Valjan

Converse via: #RomaSeries

About Gabriel Valjan

Gabriel Valjan

Gabriel Valjan lives in New England, but has traveled extensively, receiving his undergraduate education in California and completing graduate school in England. Ronan Bennett short-listed him for the 2010 Fish Short Story Prize for his Boston noir, Back in the Day. His short stories and poetry have appeared in literary journals and online magazines.

My Review of Turning to Stone with a Fly in the Ointment:

I honestly couldn’t get into Turning to Stone because there was a seedier undercurrent vibe to the story at large which truly disturbed me. There is a gritty way to tell a story and a way of painting a picture of a story where everything even benign starts to take on a shadier, darker undertone – for me this is the method in which this particular novel (and series) is being written. I wasn’t expecting to find too much vulgarity in the context of the novel either – so imagine my shock in finding the worst word I consider to ever be used peppering the chapters?

I was under the presumption this had a PG rating as far as content and language, but I would have classified it as R. Especially since even the depictions of the dead were written with an edge for violence and a disconnect from a humane approach towards their remains. It was blackened a bit with this edge for sinister remarks and I wasn’t too keen on the humour because it was either vacillating between the kinky and the kind of humour I regularly do not find humourous. Hence why I rarely watch comedies and am quite particular about which comedies I prefer to watch.

The hardest part is how the author approached the fourth book in a series – instead of the traditional bits of recapping the previous installments in narrative which bespeaks of what happened previously, he took a different approach: to insert inside information on the series between the characters, thus giving the reader a bit of a numbing headache to sort through the small bits of information to understand the scope.

I did not read very much of this novel because I was frustrated with not understanding the connections between the key players and this overwhelming arm of back-story that felt weighed down a bit for me to get at a first meeting with the series. It was hard to follow and greater still, I never felt invested in caring about what was happening, why it was happening, and sadly, none of the characters even stood out to me save the intern who was savvy smart and confident in his shoes.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via

This blog tour is courtesy of: Italy Book Tours

Click through via the badge to find out what else awaits you!

Italy Book ToursFun Stuff for Your Blog via

Reader Interactive Question:

I look forward to hearing your reactions if you’ve read this novel too

and/or if your curiosity had become piqued to read it after reading my own ruminations!

Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva.

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Turning to Stone”, “Wasp’s Nest” and “Treading the Needle”; book synopsis, author photograph of Gabriel Valjan, author biography, and the quotation from the novel and the tour badge were all provided by Italy Book Tours and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 24 October, 2015 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Content Note, Crime Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Italy, Italy Book Tours, Suspense, Vulgarity in Literature

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