Author: David Thomas
If writing is art, then David Thomas serves up crime in Blood Relative as a pensive chiaroscuro, moody, grey and brooding.
Peter Crookham, 42, is a successful architect with his own firm in York, England, and he is married to a stunningly beautiful and charming woman, Mariana. Mariana speaks with a slight German accent; she is from East Berlin. When Peter hears that his brother Andy is coming to dinner as he will be in the area to see their mother, he calls Mariana to let her know that he and Andy will be going out for a pint before supper. Peter is delayed getting home, and when he walks into the house he sees his brother dead on the floor, stabbed to death, with Mariana covered in blood, holding the murder weapon, a knife from their kitchen. He summons the police and begins a journey that is surreal, abstract, and more than black and white. When it appears that there is no trail of paperwork for a Mariana Slovik, Peter Crookham knows he must search Mariana’s past to figure out the present, for against overwhelming evidence, he KNOWS Mariana is innocent.
As Thomas thrusts Crookham into the past, he realizes he knows nothing about Mariana: she is estranged from her parents. Her father left when she was very young, and she does not speak to her mother. All Peter knows is that she was raised in East Berlin and her mother took her to the West after the Wall came down. But even stranger, Andy, Peter’s murdered journalist brother, had been researching Mariana’s past and all the documentation is on Andy’s computer. As Peter realizes that he does not indeed know Mariana, he follows Andy’s notes and enters the world of East Berlin and Mariana’s past, in a desperate hope to find Mariana innocent.
As Peter retraces Andy’s steps in East Berlin, he falls into a surreptitious and muddled history of secret police, the Stasi, and a violent past when he realizes exactly who Mariana’s father is and his part in the violence of the secret police.
Step by step intrigue, Blood Relative spatters itself on the page in a brilliant pool of a novel.
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Review by Broad “A”
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
Blood Relative is available for purchase on Amazon.com and your local bookseller.