Blurb: Joshua Delaney and Carmine Angelo Trezini, cop and mobster, should have absolutely nothing in common. Yet, accidentally brought together, they rapidly became both lovers and allies against organized crime boss Matthew Picano. Of course, taking down a man like that was never going to be easy – but Josh has no idea of the scale of the sacrifice he will eventually be called upon to make.
Genre: gay fiction; contemporary; organised crime thriller; novel; not a romance!
Word count: 51,900
Click here for an excerpt of text, and here for the reviews.
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Note: Quoted reviews are all of the Manifold Press edition. The novel has been revised for publication by LIBRAtiger.
Excerpt: This book quite literally sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go. … The angst and tension caused by Carmine’s double crossing his boss/best friend was wonderful, and the courtroom drama a delight. The romance that was developing between Josh and Carmine was intense and angst-ridden due not only to the stress of the undercover operation, but because Josh … was struggling with embarrassment, confusion, shame, anger, lust, guilt, developing emotional feelings and fear for Carmine’s life.
Excerpt: This is a well written book that has a very good story-line and plot. Angelo is the guy that I fell in love with in this book. He just seems to live life to the fullest, embracing his love for Josh and just going with it … This book I will recommend to those who love cop/mobster love affairs, court room drama and gentle love.
Excerpt: Give it to Cryssy: she’ll read anything. … There is one very interesting take on the sex. When they do arrive at the moment of attempting anal sex, Delaney isn’t thrilled down to his socks and yearns for it to be over, but he wants Trezini to be happy. Not sexy, but unique, and one of the few moments we see the relationship growing. … The ending is as tragic as the title promises, the last line the most moving in the entire work.
Excerpt: I really liked the premise for The Valley of the Shadow of Death. I love a good redemption story … There’s plenty of foreshadowing along the way to prepare the reader for the ending to this story, which was entirely plausible. The author didn’t pull out the eleventh hour ‘deus ex machina’ for the sake of a tidy finish, which I was grateful for.
- Sofia gave it 4 stars, and said: As usual Bozza is able to give a different perspective. Her worldview is particular and a worldview I like to visit. So the story is not accessorized with the ‘Hollywood’ custom jewellery which has made ‘hood’ stories stereotypical. Rather we have a story cleaned and refined down to people involved, idealistic Joshua and the realist Angelo. Angelo who gets hope for redemption from the faith of Joshua and acts upon it right on till the end.
- Ingrid gave it 5 stars, and said: OMG She has done it again…. speechlesss
- Sylvia gave it 4 stars, and said: I was about to give 3* until I read the last pages.
- Kaje Harper said: This one is impossible for me to rate. Once again, I loved Julie Bozza’s writing voice, but it was a slightly awkward fit with this story. This had characters and development that should have been a bit gritty, given the plot. Instead it had a gentle, noir, early-twentieth feel, to the point where I kept getting startled when they pulled out cell phones. Delaney was wonderful, as a youthful, naive, optimistic, crusading cop – the writing style worked very well for him and his intrinsic, slightly simple goodness. For Carmine, the mobster turned informant, it was less effective.
- bill m gave it 4 stars, and said: this is a wonderfully written story, but it’s a tough read — astonishingly realistic. There’s a lot of stuff in this genre that’s contrived and artificial; this one isn’t like that. It’s tense, uplifting, gritty and sad. But it would be hard not to recommend it, and I do.
- CatsAndChardonnay gave it 5 stars, and said: I am a fan, for certain, and this book doesn’t disappoint anyone who is a Julie Bozza fan. She has a way of writing that is very distinct and draws the reader in. Highly recommend.
An excerpt from the first chapter of this novel. A cop and a mobster find themselves thrown together in a life-or-death situation.
Angelo Trezini was slowing down, too cold and too dull to even think. Well, his only thought was a wistful wish for the energy necessary to feel sad or sorry or righteously pissed off. He was fading fast.
He was in a freezer. A large storage room of a freezer, packed high with cartons of food, and lit so brightly that Trezini was forced to squint. When his eyes were open, that is. Mostly he was just pacing in a circle, eyes shut tight against the harsh light and harsher cold, arms wrapped around his chest. He’d lost count of the number of times he’d walked this circle, but it was often enough that he didn’t have to look where he was going anymore.
A muffled clang, and the door swung open. It all happened so fast, and Trezini was feeling so slow that he didn’t have a chance to take advantage of the situation. As luck would have it, he was as far away as his circle took him – by the time he’d turned and drawn his gun, the door was already slamming shut again. And Trezini had company.
He was staring down his gun-barrel at a big dumb hunk of a man wearing a cop’s uniform. A man who was so ridiculously handsome that Trezini almost forgot the cold for a moment. There was a stillness about the man, a sense that he was completely self-contained.
Continue reading excerpt: The Valley of the Shadow of Death