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Blood-Tied (Esme Quentin Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition
"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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This tale goes into her own family and its dark and light places.
If genealogy and mystery is your thing, this book is for you. I loved it!
Percival creates some distinctive characters. Esme intrigues me with her quiet determination and unexplained scar. Polly, an old woman whom Elizabeth had been helping, is altogether believable in her fright and anguish. The villain is a nasty piece of work; anyone involved in a disputed inheritance will recognize his type. Other characters could be more fully developed. Esme's niece, Gemma, comes off as a sulky whiner whose behavior can be excused only because she's under stress. The story requires that I care what happens to her, but I don't.
The plot holds together well but occasionally seems contrived. At times Gemma's opposition to her aunt appears to have no motive other than creating another complication. The police return Elizabeth's locket and handbag to her sister, who was most likely attacked and now lies in a comma. Wouldn't they keep the items as evidence and test them for fingerprints? No, because Esme must find the photos in the locket and the keys inside the bag.
Percival's prose is economical and unpretentious, and she writes effective dialogue. I just wish she trusted her writing more. She inserts explanations as if afraid readers wouldn't get the story otherwise. I cringe at statements like this: "For Esme it was the first step on what would prove to be a strange and bewildering journey." Even though the story has only begun, Percival has done her work well enough that I already suspect that Esme will encounter things strange and bewildering. I don't have to be told. When Esme goes to interview a witness, Percival writes: "He gave no indication as to whether her second visit in such a short time was an imposition. He received her well enough." The preliminary summary undermines the drama of the scene that follows.
Quite a few mystery readers ought to enjoy Blood-Tied despite its flaws. The backstory of Elizabeth's birth family is engrossing, and the story culminates in an exciting scene that won't distress anyone with graphic violence.
I received this book free of charge from the author in return for an honest review.
Author Wendy Percival uses her knowledge of history, genealogy and research methods to give this novel a great feeling of authenticity in both the family story that is at the heart of the plot and Esme and Lucy's efforts to unravel it.
A cast of well-drawn, interesting characters lead the reader through a complex story with its roots in the past and its consequences right up to the present day.
With a clear, direct, no-nonsense style; good pace; interesting and unexpected twists and turns and a very satisfying ending, Blood-Tied is a really good read and highly recommended.