Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book Review: "Blood Solutions" (B.J. Smith)

Edward Shaw is a detective with the Des Moines Police Department, and he may be in over his head with his most recent case. One body after another are piling up, each horribly mutilated and, at first, each marked with a message that ties the murders to ... the Sunday crossword puzzles?

In following the bloody, disturbing trail of evidence, Shaw's determined digging unearths a decades-old case that someone --- at least one person, that is --- will stop at absolutely nothing to keep buried, even if it means that the killing doesn't stop.

Author B.J. Smith presents his compelling, gut-wrenching thriller, Blood Solutions, featuring the detective Edward "Red" Shaw.

What will first capture readers of this novel is the constant building tension via the breakneck pace at which events unfold. Within the first few chapters, a dozen different characters are introduced, each playing a vital role in the rest of the story, and it takes a careful eye to keep each of the players straight.

That said, Shaw is a wholly worthy protagonist, certainly up to the challenges posed by the successive and increasingly brutal murders plaguing his jurisdiction. His character strikes a neat balance between the hard-boiled detectives of past noir thrillers (think Sam Spade) and the somewhat less cynical, less worldly, but no less intelligent and capable detectives of more modern fiction.

Each twist and turn in the story line kept me eagerly turning pages, fascinated by the thoroughly and expertly developed plot points. In a novel so securely classified as a thriller, the characters aren't nearly as important as the forward momentum of the suspenseful mystery taking place, and as such are less developed than they might be in a more character-driven genre like literary fiction or romance.

Nonetheless, for those who appreciate the quick intellect, twisted puzzles, and unforeseen plot twists afforded by other authors today like Dan Brown or Lee Child, Smith's Blood Solutions is a very satisfying read.

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Author: B.J. Smith
Title: Blood Solutions
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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