Thursday, September 2, 2010


by Julie Dolcemaschio
Krill Press
ISBN: 9780982144350

LA homicide detective John Testarossa harbors a dark secret, one connecting him to the death of his father, an undercover cop with the New York Police Department, and Testarossa’s brief career there. When an arm is found on Santa Monica Beach, Testarossa and his partner, Alex Ortiz, are called to the scene. It doesn’t take long to find the decomposing body of the arm’s owner, a young college athlete. Although the young man’s death is suspected to be suicide, Testarossa and Ortiz think otherwise and determinedly pursue their investigation, taking them into the dark world of collegiate and professional athletes and their illegal efforts to perform better than their colleagues.

Testarossa’s a jaded man who looks at life through a cop’s eyes yet cares deeply for those around him. He holds women at a distance simply because he doesn’t want to put them through the pain he watched his mother go through when his father was killed. All this changes when he meets Dr. Karen Gennaro, an open woman who expects nothing but the truth from him. But how can he tell her the dark secret from his past and expect her to stay?

Dolcemaschio takes her reader into the gritty world of police officers, their comrades, and the grim world they inhabit. Testarossa is a welcome character to the mystery community; a man fueled by events from his past with a deep need to connect with others and be the best cop he can. The relationship between Testarossa and his partners is nicely portrayed, as is the chemistry between Testarossa and Dr. Gennaro. The Italian dishes described guaranty a growling stomach. The romantic interludes are sizzling and sensual, a nice bonus for romance readers. Dolcemaschio’s well-written debut novel is an intriguing, powerful read, proof positive she’s in position to “run with the big dogs”.

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