Title: A Line of Blood
Author: Ben McPherson
Length: 15 hours
Narrator: Steve West
Original Publication Date: 2015
Genre(s): Mystery, Fiction, Suspense
On a seemingly normal evening, Alex and his son Max chase their cat into the neighbor’s back yard, then through his open back door. What they find changes everything: their neighbor, dead, in the bathtub. What first looks like suicide begins to seem like murder as new information is uncovered. When a bracelet belonging to Alex’s wife Millicent is found in the neighbor’s bedroom, Alex suddenly doesn’t know who to trust. Could his own wife have killed the neighbor? Or was it the neighbor’s sister, whom Alex finds riffing through her brother’s house? Or is it perhaps Alex’s other neighbor, the owner of the dead neighbor’s house? Alex is suddenly caught in the middle of a mystery he doesn’t want to solve, as it appears everyone seems to have a motive. Especially his dear wife.
Happy October, friends! I love October. Halloween is awesome, the weather gets colder, the skies get grayer, everything is dreary and spooky and awesome. It’s also a great excuse to read spooky books! Unfortunately I’ve got 3 physical books I’m currently reading that I cannot put down for various reasons, so it looks like spooky books month will mainly consist of audiobooks.
I was disheartened to find most of the spooky books I wanted to read had long wait lists… So I settled for this little-known mystery book that turned out to be a lot less spooky than I wanted it to be… At least it was available!
The novel is told in first-person from Alex’s perspective. As the mystery unravels for him, it unravels for us. The novel is told over the course of 3 parts. Like I said, I was expecting spooky scary, but instead, part 1 was pretty uneventful after the finding of the body. Though uneventful, the story was set up and the characters established, so it wasn’t uninteresting. And the writing wasn’t bad. But then part 2 starts so absolutely suddenly I actually thought the audiobook cut out. Like, one minute Alex is just living his life, believing his neighbor killed himself, and the next he’s searching through his wife’s stuff, accusing her of murder. I was like ?????????
The book just kind of goes downhill from there. I mean, the book wasn’t bad, nor was it boring. It was just a little…annoying. And this was mostly due to the characters. Though I liked Alex the most, I really hated everyone. Why? Because they were immature, unrealistic, and just plain ridiculous.
Alex is alright. He has a pretty level head for the most part. But like I said, one minute he’s fine, the next he thinks his wife murdered the neighbor. He also believes she was having an affair with the neighbor due to mounting evidence. So he goes from loving her to hating her, trusting her to avoiding her, back and forth. One minute he’s angry and ready to leave her, the next he is fucking her. I just didn’t understand his point of view.
Millicent is another story. Literally worst wife ever. I don’t want to say much, in case one of you dear followers actually reads this book, but she is awful. I don’t have much sympathy for her at all. Throughout the entire novel, I just wanted her to be the murderer. It would be an obvious choice, but I just hated her so much I wanted her to go to jail.
Their son, Max, is perhaps the most unrealistic of all. He’s 11 years old but way smarter than any 11-year-old I know. To be fair, I don’t know any 11-year-olds, but I do know they cannot be as smart as Max. Sucks that he had such awful parents.
My hatred for the characters made it hard to like this book. It was definitely more about the characters and how they reacted to trauma rather than a murder mystery. I now know why it’s only been rated 1000 times on Goodreads…
Definitely not what I was expecting. If you want a chilling murder mystery, this isn’t it. However, if you’re interested in the family dynamic and love childish, unbelievable characters, pick this up!