Book Review of Corporate Citizen: Roma Series, Book 5 by Gabriel Valjan & a Giveaway

I love international thrillers and mysteries--and fell in love with the Roma Series by author Gabriel Valjan with the 4th book, Turning to Stone. I was very excited to have the opportunity to review his latest addition to the series, Corporate Citizen--and to both offer my review and offer our readers an opportunity to win a copy of the book at the end of this post in the iReads book tour giveaway.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post; but, we may receive slight compensation from affiliate linking within our posts. 

Quick Summary of Corporate Citizen (Book #5). A call for help from an old friend lands Bianca and the crew back in Boston. On a timeout with Dante, due to revelations in the aftermath of the showdown in Naples, Bianca is drawn to a mysterious new ally who understands the traumas of her past, and has some very real trauma of his own. Murder, designer drugs, and a hacker named Magician challenge our team, and Bianca learns that leaving Rendition behind might be much harder  than she thinks.

Plot, Characters and Setting Blend Perfectly in Corporate Citizen. Valjan has quite a knack for creating intricate plots, strong characters and well-drawn settings. Readers will connect well to the characters and be pulled flawlessly into the locations and scenes the author creates. Again, as with the previous books of the series, readers will need to read with a bit of attention to detail and focus. But, the attention is well worth it!

The Roma Series is best read as a series. I read the 4th book of the series without having read the first three. While it was a wonderful book--and I loved it--I found that I loved it much more after reading the first three books! The stories really do build and grow upon each other. While you could certainly read the books individually--I think readers would not feel the same connection and depth with the 5th book as series readers would.

Would I recommend Corporate Citizen? I loved this series--but, I read the complete series prior to reading this book. The plot twists and turns are complicated--and the character histories and previous "adventures" are at work throughout the novel. I would recommend this series to thriller/suspense fans or fans of international spy novels. The books aren't "light" reading--but, they are well worth the time and attention to detail! Readers will not find a lot of resolution by the end of this story to some of the lingering loose ends--but, that should only make us look more forward to the next book of the series!

If you are interested in reading the series:


Savvy forensic accountant Alabaster Black is hiding in Rome from her former employer, covert U.S. organization “Rendition.” While there under an assumed name she meets Dante, an investigator, erstwhile explorer and member of the Roma Underground, a band of amateur archaeologists who map the city beneath Rome. With Italian artifacts disappearing at an alarming rate, Alabaster and Dante search for answers and create a trap for the thieves. Through a mysterious online contact Alabaster learns she is being followed, and with her safety at risk she is forced to rethink her chosen alliances and discover hidden truths about herself.

“A provocative thriller with a riveting and surprising plot.”
—M.J. Rose, International bestseller

“...the strong, captivating heroine and an allure of conspiracy and organized crime make this novel an undoubted success.”
—Kirkus Book Reviews

“Conspiracy, double identities, car chases and espionage, all against the backdrop of magical Rome, with its great food and marvelous art history, make this an entertaining, intriguing read.”
—Blogcritics Book Reviews in Brief

WASP’S NEST (Book #2)

In the highly anticipated sequel to Roma, Underground, Bianca returns to the U.S. for her former employer, the covert organization Rendition, to investigate Cyril Sargent and Nasonia Pharmaceutical. Although ambivalent about the assignment and uneasy about her online “friend,” Loki, she is enticed into researching what Sargent is doing with insect genetics that might upset the world of cancer research and treatment. Old friends Farrugia and Gennaro uncover a twisted conspiracy from their past and join Bianca in Boston where they will experience conflicted loyalties, question allies, and confront uncertain enemies, as they’re drawn into the wasp’s nest.

“Again, Valjan successfully conflates multiple sophisticated narratives that bring the past and present together, which the archaeological theme of the last novel also helps accomplish . . . Black is back and just as entertaining as ever.”
—Kirkus Book Reviews

“…a compelling reading, action-packed and with intriguing characters. The plot had plenty of twists and turns, some surprising secrets, and it kept me on the edge of my seat, guessing until the very end.”
—The Book Junkie

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Milan. Bianca’s curiosity gets a young university student murdered, but not before he gives her a file that details a secret weapon under development with defense contractor Adastra. Guilt may drive her to find justice for the slain Charlie Brooks, but she is warned by the mysterious Loki to stay away from this case that runs deep with conspiracy. Bianca must find a way to uncover government secrets and corporate alliances without returning Italy to one of its darkest hours, the decades of daily terrorism known as the “Years of Lead.”

“It is even more to Gabriel Valjan’s credit that with Threading the Needle he, as an American, was nonetheless capable of unusual insight into the Misteri Italiani, the Italian Mysteries, without taking any prejudicial standpoint, one way or the other, or putting the blame on anyone, but rather inviting readers to judge for themselves.”
—Claudio Ferrara, Italian journalist and translator

“But after the first few pages, I knew I was committed to the end of the book ... and would be reading the two earlier books…Characters, plot, ideas, background: In Threading the Needle, Valjan weaves it all into an international crime novel worth the read.”
—Beth Kannell of Kingdom Books, a specialty mystery bookshop in northeastern Vermont.


Forensic accountant Alabaster Black has always been steps ahead of her former employer, Rendition, a clandestine and apparently lethal organization. Once the star investigator of financial crimes, she fled from the United States to Italy, under a new name: Bianca Nerini. She carries on her work with a group of trusted friends, although a mysterious contact by the name of Loki reaches out to her on occasion. In this fourth installment, Bianca is in Naples against the Camorra, a crime syndicate unlike the American or Sicilian mafia.

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​Buy Corporate Citizen:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author:

Gabriel Valjan lives in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of the Roma Series, available from Winter Goose Publishing. Gabriel has also written numerous short stories and essays found online and in print.

Connect with the author:  Website ~Twitter  ~ Facebook

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  1. Thank you, Angela. I've fretted about readers enjoying Book 5 if they have not read at least one other book in the series. Thank you for the encouraging words.



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