Oxblood by AnnaLisa Grant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oxblood is one of those books where I did not necessarily love everything that happened at the end, but, the author took a great risk and still wrote a great book. I received an early release copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Of course, I would be drawn to this book since it took place mostly in Italy. It is the story of Vic who receives a package from her brother who is studying abroad in Italy for a few months. The contents make her realize that her brother, Gil, is in trouble. When she does not receive her nightly email from him she gets on the first flight to Italy to look for her only living family that she knows. When she arrives at the last hotel she was able to trace him to she finds out that everything with Gil was not what she thought and she becomes involved in the same trouble in which Gil was involved and she meets Ian, the leader of a secret agent group called Rogue.
As much as I would like more on Italy, this is a thriller with a lot of action. It does a great job with characterization. Vic speaks and acts in a manner that the reader can understand why she might be called Vic instead of her full name of Victoria. You can imagine what Ian sounds like with his British accent. We do not spend a lot of time with her brother Gil, however, we do learn so much about him through Vic's eyes and memories. The reader can understand why they are so close and why Vic cannot stand by and wait for someone else to find and help her brother. But, she gets involved in something that is a lot more dangerous than she realizes.
If there were anything the book was lacking it would be that the book does not give much information on Italy, but, this is not a bad thing since it was not intended to be an armchair travel mystery. It does a great job of allowing the reader to see where each scene in the book happens, so it stages the scene very well. There is a great mystery and a lot of great fight scenes. The story line is plausible and Vic does not magically kick butt and suddenly know how to do the things that the agents can. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.