Book Review: Root Cause
“Could you imagine a world without wine?”
If you know me, then you know my answer to that. But additionally, there two things (among many) that hold a deep place in my heart: wine and books. So when I was contacted a few months ago to read a new book about an Italian flying winemaker who made it her mission to save the global wine industry from a mysterious crop-destroying bug, I couldn’t resist wanting to learn more.
Root Cause is a suspense fiction novel by Steven Laine, whose career within the wine industry has taken him all around the world to vineyards from Burgundy and Bordeaux to Napa and Sonoma - and it shows in the best way possible. He is also the only North American ever to be a Member of the Champagne Academy - which is a pretty big damn deal. What I love most about this book is that it takes the reader on a wild ride across the globe, but doesn’t skimp on the important this we need to know about the world’s most beloved wine regions.
So let’s get into it, shall we?
To keep it a buck, Corvina Guerra has my dream job: she’s a flying winemaker who gets the privilege to jet-set from coast to coast and consult vineyards big and small for her company Universal Wines. But on one a visit to a winery in Italy, she discovers that their vines have been infested by menacing bug called Phylloxera (but known to the rest of the world as Philomena.) Concerned also for her parents and their vineyard, as well as the hundreds of thousands of wine makers around the world, Corvina takes upon herself, along with her from her new friend and wine expert Bryan Lawless, to solve this mystery and save the wine industry.
I’m no professional book critic, so I’m going to share my personal highs and lows I experienced while reading and encourage you to read the book for yourself.
I’m a true wine nerd who loves reading about different regions and types of wine. The book was spot on with being extremely descriptive and vivid with how the characters traveled all over the world to stop this bug from ruining the global wine industry.
Corvina (while annoying at times) is a bad-ass. Her job as a flying winemaker made me want to drop what I was doing and find how I could have a job like hers. She’s stylish, confident and knows her stuff about wine. I also thought that it was impressive that she knew so many languages. And even though she had an estranged ex-husband, she didn’t let the lack of his whereabouts stop her from living her best life.
Bryan was clever and really was a necessary piece in helping Corvina in her quest to save the wine industry. In the end, they worked really well together - once they both learned to put their egos to the side.
There were parts that were WILD. Like hella people were scammers and it was very fun to see it all come together in the end.
Parts of the book dragged on longer that I would’ve liked - and perhaps that’s because this was my first time in a while reading a suspense fiction. The beat has to build, and sometimes that requires a little bit of patience.
At times, there was A LOT going on, so you have to pay close attention to who was moving and doing what. Especially when Interpol (read: Top Flight Security of the wine world, Craig) got involved toward the middle of the story and throughout the end.
Overall, I think that the book was written very well. If you are a wine nerd and love suspense fiction, then Root Cause will be your jam.