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A Measure of Blood: A Richard Christie Novel…

A Measure of Blood: A Richard Christie Novel

by Kathleen George

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I hoped to find a cleanly written, compelling narrative of suspense in A Measure of Blood, and Kathleen George's latest installment in her mystery series featuring Pittsburgh Police Commander Richard Christie delivered the proverbial goods, in sum.

This is not a whodunit mystery; rather, the reader's sense of suspense hinges upon the outcome of a kidnapping. The reader is privy to the action as it unfolds between the abductor and his hostage as well as in the context of the investigation and rescue mission. Like many successful novelists, George keeps the reader at the edge of her seat, eagerly turning pages, without employing unique plot twists or through carefully crafting a mystery with elements that remain opaque despite the reader's discerning scrutiny until the story reaches its climax wherein the hidden truths are finally revealed. George keeps the reader engaged with what she shows rather than what she hides in her storytelling.

The most striking strength of this work is its focus on the underlying family problems and complicated personal histories that eventually lead up to the crisis situation at hand. It's not just that we get the details of a complicated, thought-provoking back story concerning the hostage's parents and their respective choices about how to shape his family life. Rather, George goes further and arouses the reader's sympathetic concern for the boy caught in this fraught collision of different adult life paths. What is more, she gives that concern in the reader a voice in the story in none other than our hero, Commander Christie, who involves himself in the resolution of the boy's personal problems stemming from the family drama.

The realistic, complicated human troubles experienced by this family are adeptly rendered by George, and these situations served to raise several thought provoking social questions in this reader's mind. In any event, the crime action elements of the plot are palpably enhanced by the rich psychological perspective the reader gains through George's exposition of the emotional drama present in this case above and beyond the immediate peril that ultimately paces the suspense and shapes the plot on the whole.

I recommend this work to a broad audience in light of its strongly executed suspense and adeptly rendered portrait of complicated family dynamics. Thanks for taking the time to read my ideas; I hope some of my observations prove helpful in considering this prospective read. Please be advised I received a free copy of this work in exchange for an honest review through a Member Giveaway listed on LibraryThing. ( )
  kara.shamy | Dec 26, 2014 |
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"Nadal watches for weeks before he first approaches the boy. No matter what Maggie Brown says, he's sure Matt is his son, and a boy should know his father. After their first confrontation, Maggie should have run. She should have hidden her child. But she underestimated the man who was once her lover. With self-righteous determination, Nadal goes to her house. He demands to spend time with the boy. When she refuses, he reaches for a knife. By the time homicide detective Richard Christie arrives on the scene, all that remains of Maggie Brown is a bloodstain on the floor. The killer has vanished, and Matt is too scared to remember anything but his mother's fear. As Christie looks for the killer and Maggie's friends fight to keep Matt out of the hands of Child Services, Nadal watches the news and waits. A boy should be with his father. He's going to get his son"--Back cover.… (more)

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