Blood of My Brother
by James LePore
Read: March 1 – 4, 2011
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense Challenge 2011
Yearly Count: 11
First Line: In July of 1967, Jay Cassio, who would be turning five in September, started a prekindergarten program at St. Lucy’s School on Sheffield Street in Newark, New Jersey’s oldest, largest, and about to be most turbulent city.
Blurb: When Jay Cassio’s best friend is murdered in a job clearly done by professionals, the walls that he has built to protect himself from the world of others begin to shatter. Dan Del Colliano had been his confidante and protector since the men were children on the savage streets of Newark, New Jersey. When Dan supports and revives Jay after Jay’s parents die in a plane crash, their bond deepens to something beyond brotherhood, beyond blood. Now Jay, a successful lawyer, must find out why Dan died and find a way to seek justice for his murder. Isabel Perez has lived a life both tainted and charmed since she was a teenager in Mexico. She holds a powerful sway over men and has even more powerful alliances with people no one should ever try to cross. She desperately wants her freedom from the chains these people have placed on her. When Jay catapults into her world, their connection is electric, their alliance is lethal, and their future is anything but certain.
Review: I received this book to review for the Pump Up Your Book blog tour. This book was very well written, there were some great themes throughout, but especially what effects your choices have in the long run. There is no sugar-coating the ruthlessness of people. I found it very interesting to see how Jay’s childhood shaped the man that he became – as well as the lifelong friendship he was to have with Dan. Isabel’s character really showed adversity over anything is truly possible. This entire book showed just how important friendship and loyalty to those friends can really be. To be completely honest, I found Jay’s character to be slightly overzealous at times. That’s not to say that I disliked his character, I just sometimes felt as if he was two steps over the line. I also would have really preferred more background into what happened with Jay’s parents and how Danny came to his “rescue” after their deaths. In the blurb on the back of the book it is mentioned, so I felt as if it was a very important aspect of Jay’s life, but there was no real elaboration into the matter like I anticipated. It was mentioned and discussed, but not to the depth that I had looked forward to. Perhaps more information there would have explained more insight into why Jay was so overzealous in the hunt for the truth behind Danny’s murder. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book – it’s not one that I would have picked up at the bookstore, but I am definitely glad I was given the opportunity to read it. There were flashbacks to Jay’s childhood as well as Isabel’s childhood, and to be honest I sometimes got some of the characters mixed up, but that didn’t take away from my final opinion of this book – it’s just a writing style that sometimes doesn’t work for me completely. I would highly recommend this book.