Ciao, amici! Time for another book review.
I chose this one because of the “London serial killer” concept, one of my favorite types of books to read. You can find what I thought about it below:
★★★☆☆ Mixed Bag
Blood for Blood came with a list of professional accolades, and as serial killer psychological thrillers always appeal to me, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read it.
I come away from it not really knowing how I feel about it.
The villain’s motivations are fascinating and compelling. The heroine is damaged yet dedicated. There are an abundance of clues, suspects, and red herrings that kept me guessing for quite a while. And the secondary characters are almost more endearing than the main ones.
But I just couldn’t get into it. And I think it was the language.
I read a lot of fiction from “across the pond” and I don’t get tripped up by our different meanings for things like trunk/boot, elevator/lift, fries/chips, etc. In fact, I find those differences help immerse me in such stories. I also don’t have a problem with “salty” language. In fact, I think for military and police and other alpha characters, it’s realistic even if sometimes excessive.
Those weren’t the issue. This story had a different problem. The main character used such odd turns of phrase, particularly when she got worked up, that it felt forced and contrived. It seemed like the author wanted the main character’s language to be creative and stand out. And it did stand out—but not in a good way. Not for me, at least. It pulled me out of the story. I also thought the explanations of her conclusions (from a profiler’s perspective) felt telling and heavy-handed. In the end, I suppose it depends on what matters more to a reader: plot or voice. I highly recommend the story from a plot perspective, but not so much with respect to voice. I might try another book by this author, as she knows how to weave together threads of a story, but I don’t think I’ll be continuing with this series.
Ziba Mackenzie profiles killers. Now one is profiling her.
Rush hour, London. A packed commuter train is torn apart in a collision. Picking through the carnage, ex-special forces profiler Ziba MacKenzie helps a dying woman who passes on a cryptic message: He did it. You have to tell someone.
When a corpse is found bearing the gruesome signature of a serial killer dormant for twenty-five years, Ziba is pulled into the hunt for the perpetrator. As the body count rises it becomes clear he’s on a new spree. But what’s brought the London Lacerator back after such a long hiatus? And does his sudden return have anything to do with the woman on the train?
Ziba scrambles to profile the killer in the hope of predicting his next move. But time is running out. And the closer she gets to uncovering his identity, the closer he gets to destroying hers.