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BLOOD ALWAYS TELLS
by Hilary Davidson
Tor/Forge, April 2014
320 pages
$25.99
ISBN: 0765333546


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

BLOOD ALWAYS TELLS, by Hilary Davidson, starts with a woman named Dominique, who comes up with a plan to blackmail her cheating, married ex-boyfriend. Except her plan gets turned on its head when they are both kidnapped. Dominique is desperate for help so she reaches out to her older brother Desmond to rescue her, which he reluctantly agrees to do, but then it's up to him to find out what really happened with his sister. And that's all I can say without revealing too much.

There are lots of holes in the plot that right away bothered me. For example, Dominique and her ex are at the kidnappers' hideout and the kidnappers are gone, and the boyfriend is off on his own, so she's free. And she has a working cell phone. And a warm coat. So, why she doesn't run away? And when she does call the police why don't they believe her? Then, her best friend is sick and won't answer? AND the ex's wife doesn't want to listen to Dominique's warning? The author went to great lengths to paint Dominique into a corner so that she had no choice but to contact her brother. The plot seemed forced into a particular direction rather than letting the story organically take shape. Furthermore, Dominique seemed too smart to run around in circles as she does for so long in the book. Way too cool to be with someone like Gary who seems to have no redeeming characteristics.

So, I was annoyed by the book but kept reading because the author wrote so well, and I wanted to follow Dominique's adventures. She's very easy to relate to and likeable, even if she makes some questionable choices. But I was beginning to lose interest until the book took a shocking turn and went off in a completely unexpected direction. Suddenly it went from a decent book to a very interesting and compelling one.

Even before the twist I felt the book was well-written, even if the plot was a little thin. I loved how the author's use of rich language breathed a realness into her characters. But after the twist it became a real cat-and-mouse suspense novel that I couldn't put down. It was an unexpected delight. But I'm worried that many readers won't power through the first third of the book to get to the payout.

Paris Abell is blogger and writer who works as a lawyer in New York City.

Reviewed by Paris Abell, April 2014

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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