Susanna Marcasi is in Washington, D.C. on a quest to reclaim her lost memory, life, and self. Surprisingly, the prologue to Blood Stripe: The Susanna Marcasi Chronicles doesn't begin with this journey, but with the harsh and derogatory thoughts of a man who has held her in disdain at the U.S. Naval Academy during their tenure together and who hates her achievements and is determined "not to let the bitch win." A violent attack nearly destroys her physically and mentally and, true to her nature, she's fought her way back - but not without lingering effects.
All this is a satisfying prelude to the story of her subsequent involvement with an investigation of Defense Secretary Manfred Stahl, whose methods and evil actions cross social, political and military lines behind closed doors. In true keeping with the feisty willpower that has allowed her to survive both U.S. Naval Academy daily strife and its vicious aftermath, Susanna finds herself utilizing all of her strengths, skills and determination in a dangerous game that creates a variety of insights on many levels.
The action is nonstop, the thriller format embraces a strong women's quest to take back her life and the notion of deadly adversaries that are backed by the American political process, and the saga is cemented with the personality, hopes, and evolution of a protagonist who won't give up her dreams.
Blood Stripe's scenarios are authenticated by author Gina Maria DiNicolo's background as a former US Marine and military historian and a Naval Academy graduate. These experiences place her in the unique position of writing accurately and convincingly of the world of women in uniform and the struggles they face for equality in traditionally male-dominated services. Stories of abuses of power are not uncommon; but Blood Stripe provides a closer inspection of military inner circles than one might expect from a thriller format.
Despite the prologue and introduction, it's important to note that Blood Stripe is not a linear or predictable read. Many satisfying twists and turns along the way are both in keeping with the story's overall theme; yet provide a wealth of unexpected moments. These are the marks of a truly superior thriller: one which makes the military and social prowess of Blood Stripe an unstoppable, thoroughly engrossing read, driven by protagonists who don't know when to quit and who persevere in quest of justice against all odds.