Monday 15 March 2010

A MATTER OF BLOOD by Sarah Pinborough

Detective Inspector Cass Jones has enough on his plate without worrying about the world at large. His marriage is crumbling, he's haunted by the deeds of his past and he's got the high-profile shooting of two schoolboys to solve - not to mention tracking down a serial killer who calls himself the Man of Flies.

Then Cass' personal world is thrown into disarray when his brother shoots his own wife and child before committing suicide - leaving Cass implicated in their deaths. And when he starts seeing silent visions of his dead brother, it's time for the suspended DI to go on the hunt himself - only to discover that all three cases are linked...

As Jones is forced to examine his own family history, three questions keep reappearing: what disturbed his brother so badly in his final few weeks? Who are the shadowy people behind The Bank? And, most importantly, what do they want with DI Cass Jones?

This is the first book in The Dog-Faced Gods Trilogy, and I consider myself very lucky to have gotten an ARC.

Detective Inspector Cass Jones lives in London. In a world where the financial situation is so bad that most people (including the police) accept bribes from someone. It's a hard place to live, and is made even harder by a huge financial institution known only as the Bank. The Bank pretty much calls the shots, all around the world. Everyone's doing it tough, but Cass has a knack for trouble and a past that won't leave him alone. His marriage is falling to pieces and his younger brother keeps calling him.

But he's got enough to worry about with two big murder cases to solve. One involving what first appears to be the drive-by shooting of two kids who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And the serial murder of women left with messages written on their bodies in blood, along with fly eggs. Yeah, that's enough to ruin anyone's day. But when his brother is involved in a murder suicide that implicates Cass as well, his whole life gets turned upside down.

All three cases seem unrelated at first, yet the deeper he digs and the more he searches, the more Cass realises that they're as connected to each other as they are to his family. Because Cass is about to find out a few family secrets that will only confuse him and lead him to the mysterious Mr. Bright, as well as the killer he's been searching for.

In this book, nothing is as it seems. There's an enigma at every turn, and the body count doesn't stop until the end. The mystery of the Dog-Faced Gods sucks you in until you find yourself so caught up that you can't put the book down. It's what happened to me. I spent most of the weekend going back to the story because just like Cass, I had to know. But this being a trilogy, I got a taste that left me with many more questions.

A Matter of Blood is an amazing piece of storytelling. The way it starts out in a seemingly real life situation, soon throws you askew. It's a well written thrill ride that'll keep you guessing along with the characters. As the pieces are all thrown at you from different angles, you try your best to solve it, but only manage to get a piece of the big picture. And I have to admit, that I absolutely loved that about this book.

This is a gritty and very bleak story that swept me away as soon as I started it. I felt every bit of desperation as hard as the characters did, and could even taste the darkness of a world with no hope. I really need to find out when the next book comes out because I can't wait to read more about how Cass fits into this bizarre world. Awesome!

A Matter of Blood: Book One of The Dog-Faced Gods Trilogy, April 2010, ISBN 978-057-508946-4, Gollancz Paperback

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