BLOOD IS THICKER - J S McGrath

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Publication Details
Book Title: 
Blood is Thicker
ISBN: 
1875894357
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Book Synopsis

Not all killers leave a signature.
 
But when they do, police know they are up against a monster.  So cool, calculating and confident in their own ability, they are prepared to leave a calling card, saying "More to come ..."
Book Review

I fell across this book a few years ago in a shop, having never heard of the author anywhere before.  But if it's Australian then I'm almost duty bound to read a book (well that's my justification anyway).  This is a story about a serial killer - and the police unit that is investigating - firstly the death of a teenage girl and then the death of a young boy - both killings with a similar, very clinical, method.   From the book - the synopsis probably explains it best:
 
"In the bayside suburb of St Kilda a teenage girl is murdered.  It is no ordinary murder; the method was violent, but the pretty face and body remain composed, almost serene in death.  Battling conflicting evidence, no suspects, and a crime scene as cold as a Melbourne winter, the Homicide Squad is further hampered by political obstruction.  When the second and third murders are committed, Inspector Ryan McAbbey assigns a taskforce and a manhunt begins.  Combining hi-tech scientific techniques and old-fashioned detective know-how, the Homicide Squad pursue a ruthless killer with an agenda that will leave society reeling from the consequences."
 
This book was simply not my cup of tea I'm sad to say.  The personal insights into the detective's lives got too heavy-handed on occasion, spreading the story of the murders out too far, the characterisations were too predictable for me - more of a fan of the quirky, the unusual, the insightful.  Doesn't mean it's a bad story at all - just perhaps a little too much on the Chamomile Tea side for this stand a spoon up in it, strong black tea fan.
 

Comments

This story of a homicide unit tracking a serial killer in St. Kilda is a tight psychological mystery. The characters were solid and the unraveling of the identity of the killer was handled smoothly and suspenseful. The political aspects of the case brought in another dimension to the story and highlighted the tough job facing the police. I liked how the author brought into play the personal lives of the dectectives, especially Inspector McAbbey. To me, learning about the detectives made the chase more intriguing and the ending more powerful. I don't want to spoil the ending but the case was brought to a riveting conclusion that really got me thinking. If you're a fan of mysteries or police procedurals, this is a great choice and I hope to see more of Inspector McAbbey in the future.

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