This is a review of The Esposito Caper by Karen K. Brees.
Art forgery, a vendetta, murder, and what’s supposed to be a simple heist…add in a cast of quirky, loveable, drawn to perfection characters—a few of whom aren’t quite what they seem—toss in a dash of a snarly, spoiled toy poodle and you’ve got a completely enjoyable romp of a read.
The plot twists were amazing and well thought out, the main characters well developed with believable foibles. Gino is a damn good vintner, but a lousy gambler. He’s into a casino for half a million and some change. He needs a miracle if he’s going to save his vineyard and small winery. Unfortunately, his dying grandfather needs him to carry out a vendetta—not quite the miracle Gino was hoping for. But, how can he turn down a dying man’s request, especially when that man raised him after his parents had died?
Carla, Gino’s cousin, is such a free spirit I fully expected her to take flight from the pages of this novel. I loved Carla. Her boyfriend, Morrie, is one of those characters who isn’t what he claims to be but in spite of what seems to be a questionable background, he’s truly a good guy.
Even the villains were fairly well developed, with believable motivation.
Brees use of location and description helped to firmly root me into the book and the story line. I could see the grittiness of the neighborhood Carla emerged from, taste the dust of the roads on Gino’s trip early in the book to his dying grandfather’s bedside, feel the fog of San Francisco.
I started reading in one afternoon and honestly could not put it down until I was finished. I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for an enjoyable read.