Five Before Rome: 5 preludes to the Roma Series by Gabriel Valjan

Roma Series Book 1 Review - HERE
Roma Series Book 2 Review - HERE
Roma Series Book 3 Review - HERE
Roma Series Book 4 Review - HERE
Roma Series Book 5 Review - HERE
The Company Files #1 Review - HERE
The Company Files #2 Review - HERE

Synopsis -

These five novellas precede Roma, Underground, the first novel in the Roma Series. Meet the five men, who form the team around Bianca, and learn about their personal history, their respective parts of Italy, and why they each have a stake in the fight against organized crime.

Review -

I have read all the books in Valjan's Roma series (see review links above) and enjoyed every one.  So I was intrigued to read the authors latest book featuring five novella prequels to the series - Man of Honor, The Fallen One, Two Warriors, Dance of the Spider, and Five Before Rome. In them he introduces us to Roma's main characters - Dante, Alessandro, Farrugia, Gennaro and Silvio.

Each novella in this compilation showcases a story from the past - sometimes not too distant, sometimes further back.  We get a peek into how these men came to be the people we meet later on.  Each also offers a bit of Italian history as well as a bit of background of the crime families that call it home.  After the last story is finished, Valjan has included a fairly detailed set of notes for each novella.  Any questions you might have about one of the stories or references in them (Italian words, history, mythology, names, and more) can be found here. It you're a lover of all things Italian, there are a lot of interesting gems for you to savor.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this new offering by author Gabriel Valjan. My only regret, I would have loved to read it before the other novels. Perhaps on my next vacation I will take all six books and indulge reading them starting with this prequel and then in order from book one to  book five!

Buy the Book: ~ Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author -
2015 interview on his journey as an author HERE!
Brand new author interview HERE

Gabriel Valjan lives in Boston’s South End where he enjoys the local restaurants. When he isn’t appeasing Munchkin, his cat, with tuna, he documents the #dogsofsouthendboston on Instagram. His short stories have appeared online, in journals, and in several anthologies. Gabriel is the author of two series, Roma and Company Files, with Winter Goose Publishing. He was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery for Company Files: 2. The Naming Game in 2020. Gabriel has been a finalist for the Fish Prize, shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and received an Honorable Mention for the Nero Wolfe Black Orchid Novella Contest in 2018. Dirty Old Town, the first in the Shane Cleary series, was published in 2020 by Level Best Books. Gabriel attends crime fiction conferences, such as Bouchercon, Malice Domestic, and New England Crime Bake. He is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime.

​Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram