Review: Szabo by Gino Netto

Szabo by Gino Netto
For some reason I never stopped to read a detective novel, not that I can remember, but I believe that Szabo fulfilled his mission in showing me how good and engaging works of this genre can be.

Szabo, my first detective novel

For some reason, I never stopped to read a detective novel, not that I can remember, but I believe that Szabo fulfilled his mission in showing me how good and engaging works of this genre can be.

The reading flowed easily and made me travel from Brazil to Spain in a very short time. Maybe because I wasn’t used to this genre, I felt a little lost with the places and time at the beginning of the story, but I soon got used to it and plunged headlong into the adventure.

Szabo by Gino Netto
Szabo by Gino Netto

Synopsis: Carlos Marcondes works in London as a private driver, keeping his background as a member of a secret organization secret. However, his ex-boss needs a job done in secret and he’s the only one she trusts. To top it off, a millionaire tasks Marcondes with providing escort services for Gigia, a friend who will arrive during her out-of-town commitments. The task seems easy, but it becomes dangerous when Marcondes and Gigia travel to Madrid and a mysterious murder takes place. While going through a tangle of coincidences, Marcondes discovers that he is involved in tricks bigger than his intentions to solve the problem for his ex-boss. He must unravel the mysteries behind the events to prove his innocence before he is arrested by a Spanish police inspector.

About the author

GINO NETTO is a carioca born in 1973 under the sign of Virgo and a professional in the field of computing. He is a writer of blogs and plays, debuting in 2019 in the literary endeavor with Thriller Szabo.

Gino found in writing a way to dispel his shyness, writing plays from the age of 12 for the church group he was a member of for more than two decades. A reader of old spy stories and investigations such as those found in the works of his favorite authors James Hardley Chase and Jonathan Lattimer, as well as recent ones written by Garcia-Roza, for whom he has admiration, Gino decided to write his book based on an idea had during a board game with friends.

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Student of a creative writing workshop (with Mariana Kiss – author of ‘How to be a single woman) and of a script laboratory for films and TV series (with Audemir Leuzinger – feature film author for Netflix), Gino currently participates in a screenplay project based on a never-before-seen story of his own. When not writing, Gino is with his family or watching series and movies.

Gino Netto, photo by Gilvan Vieira
Gino Netto, photo by Gilvan Vieira

Forget the cliché

Our protagonist, Carlos Marcondes, totally escapes the standards of characters who get involved in detective stories. His only special abilities are those gained in training to be part of a secret organization.

When one of the members emphasizes to Marcondes that he’s not in a movie, and that in real life people aren’t so bad at aiming, meaning he could die if he’s not careful. Several times I felt a lump in my throat thinking that our protagonist was reaching his end.

I like technology and you?

Throughout the story, the author’s familiarity with technological elements is quite clear, using specific terms but in a way that anyone can understand. As the big tech lover that I am, I felt much more interested in reading the book as these things came along.

Eavesdropping, micro cameras, system hacking, all diverts attention a little from that unrealistic expectation of exchanges and deaths. I believe this combination is what made me so excited to read on and devour the book so quickly.

This book will be a bestseller one day

If on the one hand, I believe it is impossible to predict whether a book will be a best seller one day or not, I would be very inclined to bet that it would if I were asked about Szabo.

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The book has a well-developed plot that leaves nothing to be desired when I think of all the good books I’ve read. The author’s love for writing is evident in the high quality of his first book.

The secondary characters, Timothy and Gigia, as well as Marcondes, are well developed, and it’s easy to have some kind of feeling for them. They make a difference in the story with their personality, and that’s not something every writer can do.

What I didn’t like so much

Only two things bothered me while reading the book: the dialogues and timing.

At the beginning of the story, we have some flashbacks to different moments in Marcondes’ life, and in some of those, it’s not very clear when you got back to the present moment. This was something that reduced in intensity as the story progressed, and by the end, I was already able to travel along with the book naturally.

As for the dialogues, it’s not that serious, but at times I found it difficult to understand them, perhaps because they broke the pattern. Anyway, just like the flashbacks, it’s something you get used to, and you can easily read on.

Is reading Szabo worth it?

It is natural to have a certain resistance when a new author appears on the market, especially here in Brazil, where we have a bad habit of not valuing our writers, preferring to read international bestsellers.

Because of this, I have to say firmly: reading Szabo is very worthwhile. Not only for the appreciation of national literature but also for the immense quality of the story, which fulfills everything the genre proposes without getting lost in clichés as many books do.

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You will slowly feel absorbed and compelled to unravel the mysteries involving Marcondes, Gigia, Madrid, murder, and the secret organization Marcondes worked for.

I hope you give this beautiful work a chance, which can be purchased by clicking on the link below, for the physical version, or through Amazon if you want the digital version.

The book is part of Kindle Unlimited, so you can enjoy reading it without spending anything too if you already go, or if you become a subscriber.

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