Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Blood Ties" by Kay Hooper; not my favorite Bishop/Special Crimes Unit book

I need to start this review with a caveat -- my feelings about this book may have been affected by something out of the control of the author. I got my book from the library and the person who had checked it out before must be a heavy smoker because the book reeked of cigarette smoke. That smell makes me sick so it might have contributed to a more negative reading experience than the book deserved.

The author did something new in this book that I have to applaud. After 12 books it can get a little difficult to remember all the various members of the SCU and Haven (not to mention their various special abilities) and what happened in the diffierent books. So Ms. Hooper did something to help us out: throughout the book there are footnote reminders of which book a referenced event or character was in and at the end of the book there are bios on the SCU agents and Haven operatives. I found this really helpful because it has been a long time since I read some of the books.

The footnotes and bios were especially helpful in this book because, unlike some of the other books in this series, most if not all of the SCU agents show up in one way or another in the course of this book. It is dictated primarily by the plot but it made the flow of the book less compelling than when there are just a few main characters. There aren't any new characters so that helps but it does spread out (and thin out) the emotional connection to the characters. I think the lack of focus on just a few characters (along with the smell) made this one of my less favorite books in the series.

This is the third book in the trilogy that starts with Blood Dreams (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Novels) and Blood Sins: A Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Novel (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit: Blood Trilogy) so you should read those books before reading this one. If you start with this one, you will miss a lot of the references to what happened in those books.

The action in this book takes place in the small town of Serenade where several SCU agents have been called to investigate a grisly murder. They have been following what they believe to be a serial killer through various states and things escalate in Serenade. Although nearly all of the SCU agents appear at one point or another in this book, Quentin and Diana and Hollis and Reese are the central figures from an emotional perspective.

I don't want to give away any of the plot but if you thought Blood Sins completely ended the storyline, you'd be wrong.

As noted above, I checked out this book from the library.  Support your local library!

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