Month: October 2015

A Line of Blood by Ben McPherson

Posted October 30, 2015 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Line of Blood by Ben McPhersonA Line of Blood by Ben McPherson
Published by HarperCollins on September 29th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Psychological, Mystery & Detective, General
Pages: 416
Format: Print ARC
Source: Goodreads First Reads

Solid suspense novel, about a family dealing with being under suspicion for their neighbor’s mysterious death.

The truth was our enemy now; the truth would not set us free.

A Line of Blood centers around the Mercer family: Alex, Millicent and their eleven-year-old son Max. When the Mercer’s cat wanders into the neighbor’s house, Alex and Max stumble upon their neighbor dead in his bathtub. The scene initially appears to be a suicide, but the police soon begin to suspect foul play. There are many people who have a motive to kill the neighbor, including Alex and Millicent. The Mercer family begins to fall apart at the already loose seams, as they deal with the terrible incident and the suspicions that follow.

These people are AWFUL to each other! Alex and Millicent have a very damaged relationship. Sample conversation:

“Your cute and adorable son,” [Alex] said, “thinks you’re a bitch, by the way. It was hard to know what to say.”
“A bitch?”
“A fucking bitch. Max’s words.”

My reaction to these type of things is usually more this, rather than this, so I was fascinated by this couple’s relationship!

Their family dynamics are extremely dysfunctional and all of their conversations are built on half-truths and omissions. Max is always seeing and hearing things that he shouldn’t. He is more aware of what is going on in his parent’s marriage than they are most of the time! It is interesting how he processes all this information and the conclusions his eleven-year-old mind comes too about all these things he shouldn’t know.

I thought about the rot in the floor-boards, now spreading from the bathroom to the bedroom, of the window frames that barely fitted, of the pathological mess of the life we lived: God, but the neglect of it. The house was tidy, now, but give it a week. Coming in through the front door, the neglect would be the first thing that hit you.
House, marriage, and child. She was going to leave you.
Had we neglected each other as we’d neglected the house? I didn’t think so, but how do you know? Only the very naive believe that love is all you need; but the other stuff, the boundaries and the fights, the sex and the food? Hadn’t we been good at that?

The book is really easy to read. It is dialogue-heavy, so it goes fast. It examines a child’s awareness of the world around them and the damaging consequences of cynicism and living passively. I thought of the following books while I was reading (just based on tone), but I wouldn’t click on these recommendations until you have read the book: View Spoiler »


Black-eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

Posted October 26, 2015 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Black-eyed Susans by  Julia Heaberlin

My grandfather once told me that God puts pieces in the wrong places to keep us busy solving puzzles, and in the perfect places so that we never forget there is a God. Fun-to-read suspense novel that takes place in Texas with an amnesiac narrator. I had a four-star time reading it. I used to […]

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Posted October 21, 2015 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Beautifully written, character-driven novel about families dealing with grief. The house without sound is now loud with nothing, no one. On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life changes forever when an explosion kills her daughter Lolly, her daughter’s fiance Will, her longtime boyfriend Luke, and her ex-husband Adam. The victims’ families and […]

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Posted October 14, 2015 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Poking fun at the “Chosen One” trope, with a diverse group of outsiders. Mostly uneventful, but I love the concept and it is good for a few laughs. The indie kids, huh? You’ve got them at your school, too. That group with the cool-geek haircuts and the thrift shop clothes and names from the fifties. […]

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Posted October 11, 2015 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

3.5? A portrait of a marriage that is held together by what can never be said. The writing was overdone at times and the first half barely held my interest, but the second half makes it worth a read. Do not go into this one expecting a thriller. …she saw on the Internet a video […]

The Lost Girl by R.L. Stine

Posted October 4, 2015 by Taryn in Giveaways / 0 Comments
The Lost Girl by R.L. Stine

I won The Lost Girl (Fear Street Relaunch #3) by R.L. Stine in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. I am not the target demographic for this series, but I do think there are as many wonderful young adult novels as there are wonderful adult novels. I just didn’t think this was one of them. I […]