First, I Love You by Genevieve Dewey
(The Downeys #1)
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Mystery
One part Godfather, two parts Emma and a dash of Casablanca mixed together, “First, I Love You” isn’t a detective novel, a gangster novel, a mystery, a romance or a family saga. It’s a little of all of the above.
Imagine being a detective with a mobster for a father, or a mobster with a straight arrow, good cop for a son. This is a relationship that is tricky on its best day. Add in some well-meaning meddling from a mob princess sister, an arrogant DEA agent, and gangsters running a human trafficking ring and you have a recipe for a book that refuses to follow the rules. Told from the perspective and point of view of each the six main characters this is the first novel in a trilogy about love, loyalty, revenge and redemption.
Omaha Detective Tommy Gates has kept his gangster father at arm’s length his whole life. Mickey Downey has spent the better part of the last two decades trying to find ways to get back the son he lost through Witness Protection. Now Tommy has taken an opportunity to work on a Federal Human Trafficking Joint Task Force in Chicago where his father lives. Tommy’s sister Kiki and his mother Mary see this as an opportunity to build a relationship between the two. Tommy’s new DEA partner James Hoffman sees it as an opportunity to gain leverage over Mickey Downey. Tommy’s other partner, FBI Agent Ginny Sommers wants to keep Tommy’s family as far from the case as possible. When Kiki and James join forces, sparks fly and it sets fire to a maelstrom of unexpected consequences for everyone involved.
Book Review – ‘First, I Love You (The Downey Trilogy #1)’ by Genevieve Dewey ~ 5 Stars!
To start, all I can say is WOW! This is an absolutely amazing book that has something for everyone in it. It has a mix of genres including gangster crime, detective, mystery, romance and family. This is a book not to be missed.
I genuinely applaud the author Genevieve Dewey for how incredibly well this book was written. With six main characters and the narration skipping between each character for each chapter, I was worried at first that too many points of view would get confusing especially with this kind of fast-paced detective storyline, but I need not have worried as it was handled superbly, with the different characters stories intertwining brilliantly. I absolutely loved how easily I connected to all the characters, especially those whom you would not expect to appreciate or have any respect for if you hadn’t read their story from their point of view.
Reading Mickey’s storyline was a real experience for me as it really made me see that even though the gangsters in this story have done bad things, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are people with no feelings. We can see that the love Mickey has for all his children transcends all the feelings he has for his work, and his inability to earn his son Tommy’s respect isn’t necessarily his own fault, but due to the circumstances and lifestyle that he himself was brought up in. His relationship with Tommy’s mother was also brilliantly written, and it really emphasised the importance of family and how the love of a parent can outweigh that of romantic love.
James and Kiki’s storyline was so much fun, and I really connected with Kiki and felt her turmoil at the life she lived, and her worry over her growing relationship with James. At many times I wanted to bang her and James’ heads together and just yell at them to talk to each other, which I loved as it really shows how much I connected to the story and the characters. Throughout this book, I also really wanted to reach into the pages and give Tommy a huge hug. I look forward to seeing how his growing friendship with Ginny will develop, as I love the connection they share and how their devotion to their work gets in the way of them taking the next step in their relationship.
The author’s decision to use an epilogue was brilliant, as there are far too many books which end with a cliffhanger and leave you feeling a little let down that you don’t get a little closure from the books storyline. This epilogue left me feeling greatly excited for the next book in the series, as it gave me closure to some of the issues that were risen during the first book, and raised intriguing questions that the characters will have to answer in the next book of the series.
Overall this book is a real gem that if I could give more than five stars, I definitely would! It is a beautiful story of love, friendship and most of all family that will have you laughing and crying. Go and check it out! You won’t be disappointed.