A Line of Blood – Ben McPherson
You discover your wife has been in the man’s house.
It seems she knew him.
Now the police need to speak to you.
One night turns Alex Mercer’s life upside down. He loves his family and he wants to protect them, but there is too much he doesn’t know.
He doesn’t know how the cracks in his and Millicent’s marriage have affected their son, Max. Or how Millicent’s bracelet came to be under the neighbour’s bed. He doesn’t know how to be a father to Max when his own world is shattering into pieces.
Then the murder investigation begins…
My thanks to the team at Harper for my review copy
This is an intense psychological thriller which will have you doubting and second guessing the motives of almost all of the characters you encounter throughout A Line Of Blood. Alex Mercer and his son Max find their neighbour dead in his bath. A traumatic experience which is significantly magnified when it comes to light that Alex’s wife Millicent had been in his neighbour’s house and may have known the dead man – perhaps intimately.
Following the discovery of the body we follow the Mercer family as their lives spiral into chaos. Alex struggles to understand why Millicent has been lying (and is she still lying to him). Millicent seems to be keeping secrets and her behaviour is incredibly unpredictable. Max has questions – many, many questions and does not seem to be overly troubled by what he has seen. However, a visit to a psychologist reveals that there may be much more going on inside Max’s head than he is revealing and his parent’s increasingly unusual behaviour is not helping.
As a reader I was compelled to keep the pages turning – A Line of Blood wants to drag you in and keep you guessing as to which characters are believable and which are twisting the facts for their own gain. Keep reading to the end and the journey is a treat for those of us that enjoy a clever, well written thriller.
I did have a slight concern as I read though – the characters all seemed flawed and they acted in ways which seemed just too extreme at times for me to wholly get behind them. I could not empathise with Alex, Millicent or Max and this made it hard for me to care what happened to them. Having checked many other reviews and after discussing the book with friends and fellow bloggers I find that I am in a minority (of one) on this front but not being able to engage with the principle characters was a concern.
In summary – a clever story with some great twists along the way.
A Line of Blood is published by Harper and is available in paperback and digital format now.