Blog Tour: Crime and Wilderness - Blood and Bone by Valentina Giambanco

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be welcoming Valentina Giambanco, author of the Detective Alice Madison series, to the blog to share with readers a guest piece in relation to the publication of the third book in the series Blood and Bone.

Available on Amazon UK | Amazon US
Blurb
Detective Alice Madison is back in a gripping new thriller, perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Kathryn Croft and Sharon Bolton.

After two years in the Seattle Police Department, Detective Alice Madison has finally found a peace she has never known before. When a local burglary escalates into a gruesome murder, Madison takes charge of the investigation. She finds herself tracking a killer who has haunted the city for years - and whose brutality is the stuff of myth in high security prisons. 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... even if it means playing a killer's endgame.


Crime and Wilderness
By Valentina Giambanco
I’m still not entirely sure how I came to set my books there; maybe I had not been looking for a city with some wilderness nearby but the other way round. Either way I love writing about it because what I write deals with the notions of good and evil and justice and courage, and the wilderness, in all its ruthless glory, gives the stories an extra dimension and a sense that there is something far, far bigger than us. So far I have sent Madison to some of the most beautiful and dangerous areas of Washington State and no doubt I will continue to do so. Research has led me to visit some of those places in person and each has been an unforgettable experience.   In the first three books various crises (a killing, a kidnap and a hostage rescue situation) begin in Seattle but have to be solved outside of the boundaries of the urban environment and I loved writing those chapters.   Somehow writing about places where the laws of engagement of civilised society go out of the window is very fitting when you want to write about the darkness of the soul and from the beginning I wanted Madison to measure herself against more than the threat of gunmetal.   My character, Alice Madison, is a homicide detective and every day she pursues the worst kind of felons but when the story takes her out of the city to the Hoh River Forest or to the isolated town of Ludlow up north near Canada, for example, the dangers become elemental and the ease of modern city life is left behind. Anything can happen out there and you don’t have immediate backup from the rest of the police department because you don’t even have a police department out there in the middle of nowhere. You can always see the water from Seattle and you can always see the mountains. In the distance, if you look a little to the left of the metal and glass of the downtown skyscrapers you can see peaks that hold snow all year round. Why does that matter? Well, for one thing I write crime fiction and every so often it is refreshing to be able to visit a place that is not covered in CCTV cameras – the bane of any writer who wants to make things harder for her detectives – a place where you can get lost and being lost might cost you your life. And anyway true wilderness is the ultimate psychotic maniac: charming and pretty one moment, lethal the next.   I’m not sure where this affinity comes from; I only know that it works very well for me and I couldn’t begin to think of my characters and their stories in an entirely urban environment.  I was born and bred in Italy (Mediterranean country, shockingly hot in the summer, cities like Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice) and I’ve lived in London since university (also a big city, also an urban wonder of the world) and yet, when it came to setting my novels I ran as fast as I could in the opposite direction. I chose Seattle, a mid-size city in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., a city that’s a stone’s throw from real wilderness, the kind that has teeth and it is not too polite to use them. They have bears there, and cougars, and wolves.  I also love snowshoeing – clomping about in deep snow with tennis rackets tied to my feet – and the mere mention of a winter excursion off-road in Iceland makes me giddy with delight. Can you see the pattern here?  Long before I wrote THE GIFT OF DARKNESS, the first in the Alice Madison series, I went dogsledding in Canada: I drove a team of six huskies as they pulled a sled through a snowy forest and across a frozen lake. I was cold, exhausted and hoarse from cheering on the dogs. It was one of the best days of my life.

About the author
I was born in Italy and came to London after my Italian A-levels to do a degree in English & Drama at Goldsmiths – it was an amazing time in an amazing place.
My first love has always been movies and as soon as I walked into a cutting room – actually a cramped college edit suite with an old two-machine system – I knew I was home.
I started in films as an editor’s apprentice in a 35mm cutting room making tea and sharpening pencils. Since then, over almost twenty years, I have been involved in many UK and US pictures, from small independent projects to large studio productions.
I was an early reader and have always kept notebooks of ideas for stories I wanted to write: when I started my first novel, THE GIFT OF DARKNESS, I only knew that it would be about a young homicide detective who is forced by circumstances to investigate a case with a criminal. And the story would be part procedural, part thriller and full of the twists and turns I loved in my favourite books and movies.
I set the Alice Madison series in Seattle because I had fallen in love with the city many years earlier and it was a way of being there. Seattle and the ruthlessly beautiful wilderness of Washington State have shaped and inspired the stories in every way and continue to do so.
I live in South West London but I spend most of my day in the Pacific Northwest.

You can find Valentina Giambanco on Twitter | valentinagiambanco.com

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