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HarperCollins Publishers (AU)
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A Line of Blood Kindle Edition
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"A compelling read for its vivid portrait of a family whose secrets are hidden behind a mask of normalcy until a violent act rips it away... This is a novel for those who like their suspense written in dark tones."--New York Journal of Books
"McPherson's debut prolongs suspense until the dreadful truth becomes undeniable, raising the questions of how these well-drawn characters will survive and how justice is best served."--Library Journal
"McPherson's mystery is carefully constructed, a literary house of cards. Layer upon layer of revelation increases the tension."--Kirkus Reviews
"A family drama packed with suspense."--The Sunday Post (UK)
"Fascinating. From the first page of A LINE OF BLOOD, I was hooked. I couldn't put it down!"--Lisa Jackson, New York Times bestselling author
"Gripping from the get-go, A Line of Blood will have readers wondering what they might be capable of in the face of the terrible isolation of self within a family running off the rails."--Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Cold Cold Heart
"Many good novels pose the question: how should you act in certain circumstances? This is the question McPherson puts, and the answer that he finds for his characters seems to me admirable and yet morally dubious. This is how it should be."--The Scotsman (UK)
"McPherson displays a rare skill for creating characters with depth in a world that is splintering around them."--Daily Mail (UK)
"To say that the book is fascinating and hard to put down would be an understatement.... Former relationships and shameful episodes in Alex and Millicent's lives keep coming to light, making the tangle increasingly snarled rather than more understandable. And this quite effectively heightens the suspense."--ReviewingtheEvidence.com
"An impressive slice of domestic suspense... McPherson is a dab hand at creating realistically flawed characters to whom one just about manages to give the benefit of the doubt, and the ending... is still shocking."--The Guardian --This text refers to the paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
For Alex Mercer, his wife Millicent and their son Max are everything--his perfect little tribe. But when their next-door neighbor dies, their lives are irrevocably changed. During the police investigation, troubling questions throw suspicion on Alex, Millicent, and even Max. Each of them has secrets, and each has something to hide.
With the walls of their world closing in on them, husband, wife, and son must decide how far they'll go to protect themselves--and their family--from investigators carefully watching their every move . . . waiting for one of them to make a mistake. Highly provocative, intensely twisty and suspenseful, this novel will have you wondering if one of them--or all--are guilty, and will keep you on edge until its electrifying final pages.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B00N7348CS
- Publisher : HarperCollins (26 March 2015)
- Language : English
- File size : 931 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 417 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 546,543 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top review from Australia
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Alex Mercer and his eleven year old son Max are trying to retrieve their cat when it runs into a neighbour's yard and then through his backdoor. Hesitating, Alex calls out. When there's no answer he enters and chases the cat upstairs. Mistake. The neighbour is home and in the bathtub. But - he's dead - an apparent suicide.
However, the police have questions and decide to open an investigation. And as they question Alex, his wife Millicent and even Max, it appears that each member of the Mercer family is keeping secrets.
There is a unsettling tone in the dialogue and actions of the main characters. Something is decidedly 'off' with this family. The reader is kept off kilter as pieces of the past are revealed. McPherson uses foreshadowing to great effect. The current story is just as unpredictable and well, jarring. I was caught up in the uncertainty of what had really happened to the neighbour. I had my suspicions.....
This is the kind of book I love - twisty, turny psychological thrillers. But....I (really) didn't like the characters at all. Now, I know this is not a prerequisite to enjoying a novel. But as the story progressed, I truly questioned whether a couple would tolerate each other's behavior in order to preserve 'their little tribe.' And if they should even be allowed to keep their child. That being said, the publisher's blurb includes the following - "A Line of Blood explores what it means to be a family—the ties that bind us, and the lies that can destroy us if we're not careful." Still, I thought it stretched credulity.
But I never considered putting the book down. That off kilter uncertainty kept me turning pages to the end reveal. My suspicions on 'whodunit' were proven correct - it's fairly well telegraphed. But I was left with my own uncertainty - I enjoyed the book, but not as much as I wanted to. I think I went in expecting more suspense, less character study. Still, I would pick up McPherson's next book.
Top reviews from other countries
However, this is more than a detective story: it covers themes of natural justice, redemption, love and forgiveness and may encourage the reader to reflect on the nature of some of the 'certainties' of life in 21st century Britain. And I can't wait for the second book from this author.
Still don't know why it's called "A Line Of Blood" though - the Dutch version is called "What He Saw" which I think is better. Anyway Highly recommended.
It is a dark and uncomfortable look into the dynamics of what appears on the surface to be a normal family living in North London whose world is shaken by the sudden death of their next door neighbour.
I genuinely didn't like any of the main characters, I warmed to none of them and my dislike of them grew as the book progressed - however I am completely comfortable with disliking characters in a book - so this didn't phase me at all - in fact it probably lent itself well to the storyline.
The reason I rated this 3 stars and not 4 is that I found it quite slow to read, it is probably not the type of book that I personally would go for - however it was well written, thought out and extremely dark.
I think it would appeal to those who like their thrillers a little quirky, have an interest in family relationships and the darker side of life. It was just too quirky for my personal taste
If Amazon allowed it I would have rated it 3.5 stars as it is an interesting debut novel
The book makes you have more than an uncomfortable feeling as it touches on many moral situations. There aren't any heros in the story, just a couple wanting the best of both worlds, children and careers. The writing pace is quite steady but intriguing too with suspense spiking at different times throughout the book. The characters are quite ordinary which makes this more chilling with the conclusion of the story not a total suprise but the revelation will make you think about it for days.
As the story involves a child I wouldn't recommend this book for everyone but if you like dark psychological thrillers you will love it.
I really hope another book is in the making as I really liked Ben Mcpherson's style of writing.