Book Review: Blood Stripe by Gina Maria DiNicolo

November 2, 2015

Blood Stripe: The Susanna Marcasi Chronicles by Gina Maria DiNicolo is a novel which addresses sexual harassment in the military as well as the corruption in Washington, DC. Ms. DiNicolo has served in the US Marine Corps after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, this is a her second book and her first fictional work.


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Blood Stripe: The Susanna Marcasi Chronicles by Gina Maria DiNicolo is a fast paced thriller which grabs the reader on the first page and doesn’t let go until the very end. The characters, while a bit cliché, are nevertheless engaging and likeable.

Ms. DiNicolo is very knowledgeable about the subjects she writes, which seem authentic and reasonable. The corruption, belligerence and favorability among those in the political class, with or without a uniform, is brought front and center throughout the pages.

I truly enjoyed the villain in this book, Brigadier General, Manfred Stahl who is now the Defense Secretary. Stahl is a crooked politician who not only wields a powerful wand, but also has his own brutal enforcers and is a megalomaniac and a psychopath to boot.

The author realizes that, brutality aside, those who hold the purse strings truly are masters of the universe. The political deviousness and ability to give out contracts and create budgets is where the true power is, both Ms. DiNocolo and the fictional Mr. Stahl realize.

The plot of the book has a lot going for it, political intrigue, murder, horrific rape, betrayal and behavior which will repulse many. The story is could have easily been lost among the myriad of topics, but the author managed to seamlessly weave them together.

Lieutenant Colonel Joe Earhardt is about to jump off the Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C. but before he jumps he calls the Chief of Police. A gunshot is heard and everyone is convinced Joe shot himself before he jumped – only that they can’t find the body.

Joe’s lover, Louisiana senator Lori O’Reilly, asks her best friend, journalist Susanna Marcasi for help even though Susanna is Joe’s former fiancé. Susana was a brilliant Marine Corps officer who suffered a brutal sexual attack by one of her comrades, only for him to get away with it. The trail after Joe’s body takes Susanna and Navy Commander Michael Singleton to Louisiana and Washington following a bizarre trail of money and violence.

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Dis­claimer: I got this book for free from TLC Book Tours
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