Review: Blood and Bone by Valentina Giambanco

Title: Blood and Bone by Valentina Giambanco
Alice Madison Series Book Three
Publisher: Quercus
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


After two years as a Seattle Police Department homicide detective, Alice Madison has finally found a measure of peace she has never known before–a sense of belonging.

When a local burglary escalates into a gruesome murder, Madison takes charge of the investigation, only to discover that this is no ordinary killing. She finds herself tracking a serial assassin who has haunted the city for years–and whose brutality is the stuff of legend among the super-max prisons of the Pacific Northwest.

As she delves deeper into the case, Madison learns that the widow of one of the victims is being stalked–is the killer poised to strike again? As pressures mount, Madison will stop at nothing to save the next innocent victim, but when her own past comes under scrutiny from enemies close to home, Madison’s position on the force–and the fate of the case itself–are suddenly thrown into jeopardy.


Blood and Bone by Valentina Giambanco is a riveting police procedural that follows the investigation of a particularly gruesome and violent murder.  Although this latest release is the third installment of the Alice Madison series, it can be read as a standalone.

Homicide Detective Alice Madison and her partner Detective Sergeant Kevin Brown are stunned by the brutal murder of Matthew Duncan.  By all appearances, his death is the result of a burglary gone wrong, but several incongruous details leave them convinced the crime scene might have staged.  When evidence found at the scene links this current case to another murder years earlier, Madison and Brown realize a serial killer has been methodically hunting victims and framing innocent people for his crimes. With scant clues and no viable leads, Alice and Kevin are feverishly working around the clock as they try to identify the murderer but will they catch him before he strikes again?

By all accounts, Matthew’s marriage to wife Kate is happy and no one in his life has a bad thing  to say about him.  However, it soon becomes apparent Matthew’s death was not a random act of violence but Madison and Brown quickly hit a dead end in their investigation.   The discovery that this current case is linked to the earlier murder does little to help pinpoint the killer since they cannot figure out a motive for either case.  Unable to find a connection between victims, the case takes another shocking turn once they realize they are on the trial of a clever murderer who is suspected of killing more than a dozen people.

At the same time she is investigating Duncan’s murder, Alice learns troubling information about the notorious killer (and fugitive) she saved months earlier.  The DEA is convinced she has information about John Cameron and his involvement in the murders of several cartel members.  Despite her continued insistence she has no knowledge about Cameron, the DEA remains unconvinced she is telling them everything she knows.

While the overall flow of the novel is a bit convoluted due to several secondary story arcs, Blood and Bone is a compelling police procedural with a cast of complex characters and a fascinating storyline.  The murder investigation is full of unforeseen twists and turns that will leave readers on the edge of their seats as Madison and Brown try to find a murderer who has successfully flown under the radar for years.  Their hunt for a diabolical serial killer comes to a somewhat stunning conclusion and Valentina Giambanco adds one final twist that is absolutely brilliant and completely unexpected.  A spectacular addition to the Alice Madison series that I highly recommend to fans of the genre.

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1 Comment

Filed under Alice Madison Series, Blood and Bone, Contemporary, Mystery, Quercus, Rated B+, Review, Valentina Giamanco

One Response to Review: Blood and Bone by Valentina Giambanco

  1. Timitra

    Thanks for the review Kathy