Review: Bad Blood by Brian McGilloway

Bad Blood
by Brian McGilloway

Bad Blood

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: June 13th 2017
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0062684558 (ISBN13: 9780062684554)
Series: DS Lucy Black #4
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Blurb: A young man is found in a riverside park, his head bashed in with a rock. One clue is left behind to uncover his identity—an admission stamp for the local gay club.

DS Lucy Black is called in to investigate. As Lucy delves into the community, tensions begin to rise as the man’s death draws the attention of the local Gay Rights group to a hate-speech Pastor who, days earlier, had advocated the stoning of gay people and who refuses to retract his statement.

Things become further complicated with the emergence of a far-right group targeting immigrants in a local working-class estate. As their attacks escalate, Lucy and her boss, Tom Fleming, must also deal with the building power struggle between an old paramilitary commander and his deputy that threatens to further enflame an already volatile situation.

Hatred and complicity abound in McGilloway’s new Lucy Black thriller. Compelling and current, Bad Blood is an expertly crafted and acutely observed page-turner, delivering the punch that readers of Little Lost Girl have grown to expect.


Review: This is the fourth book in the Lucy Black series and I have read the previous three (Little Girl Lost, Someone You Know, The Forgotten Ones ) and thoroughly enjoyed all of them! So when I was pitched this book I eagerly accepted it to review. I was looking forward to falling back in with Lucy and Tom.

Gay rights, immigration, and the legal issues of drugs were all integral parts of this book. The way they were portrayed definitely leaves the reader with some tough questions to ask themselves – how would you react in certain situations that these characters were placed in? I will say that going this route with the storyline gave this book an extremely current feel. While this book is set in Ireland right before the Brexit, these are some of the same issues that plague the United States as well right now.

I still really enjoy Lucy’s character. Theres’s just something about her that I enjoy. She’s a smart cop, but she’s also got a lot of heart. It’s a nice combination to see. There seemed to be a lot more interaction with other police officers in this book than I remember in the previous books. It was nice to see some other secondary characters get quite a bit of attention in this installment.

So while the political issues brought up in this book definitely have a current vibe, I hope it won’t be too off-putting to certain readers. Luckily, I am still looking forward to seeing more of Lucy Black in the future and will be eagerly awaiting the next installment from this series!


Author Bio:

Brian McGilloway

Brian McGilloway was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. After studying English at Queen’s University, Belfast, he took up a teaching position in St Columb’s College in Derry, where he was Head of English. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling Lucy Black series, all to be published by Witness. Brian lives near the Irish borderlands with his wife and their four children.

Catch Up With Our Author On:Website 🔗Goodreads 🔗Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!


GIVEAWAY

There is a Rafflecopter giveaway! There will be 3 winners of one (1) non-Kindle eBook coupon for a copy of THE FORGOTTEN ONES by Brian McGilloway. The giveaway begins on June 24 and runs through August 1, 2017. You can find the Rafflecopter link HERE.


Excerpt

The hall was already packed by the time Detective Inspector Tom Fleming arrived. The air was sweet with perfume and talc and, beneath that, from the farmers still wearing their work clothes, the scent of sweat and the smell of the earth.
The congregation were on their feet, being led in the opening hymn by Pastor James Nixon. Fleming smiled apologetically at those he squeezed past to get to a free seat in the third row from the back. The hymn finished, the assembly took their seats just as Fleming reached his, and settled to listen to the words of Pastor Nixon.
‘My brothers and sisters, it is a great honour to be here with you this evening and to see so many of you have taken the time to come and pray with me.’ His voice was strong despite his age, a rich baritone still carrying the inflections of his native Ballymena accent.
‘But it is a time of great challenge for us all. Daily, all good people face an assault on their morality with the rampant homosexual agenda that assails us and belittles everything we hold to be true and dear. Men of conscience are tried for refusing to make a cake celebrating homosexuality or print leaflets and posters furthering that agenda. And on the other side of the border, the Irish Republic has voted to allow homosexuals to marry, as if two women playing house is no different to the consummated union of a man and a woman. As if it is not a perversion which shames us all.
A few voices appended his comment with ‘Amen’.
Nixon raised his hands, acknowledging their support. ‘There are those who would silence me, silence us. They tell us we must accept homosexuals in our town, our shops, allow homosexual bars and public houses to operate on our streets. We must allow sodomites to teach our children and to corrupt our young. We must stay silent while a new Gomorrah is built next to our homes and farms, our shops and schools. They say I am dangerous. They say I preach hatred. They say I should be silent. But I say this: I say that there is no danger in truth. I say that there is no hatred in goodness. And I say that I will not be silent.’
Another chorus of ‘Amens’ greeted his proclamation, accompanied by a smattering of applause which began at the front and rippled its way through the hall.
‘I will not stand idly by as our families are exposed to sin and depravity. I will not countenance the laws of the land being used to protect profane persons, allowing them to indulge their lustful practices, forcing those of us with consciences to humour this lifestyle. It is an abomination. The people who practise it are abominations and, like those before them, they will end in fire and brimstone.’
Fleming glanced around at the others in the congregation. While one or two shifted uncomfortably in their seats, for the most part the listeners sat intently waiting for Nixon to continue.
‘Friends, only last week, I read of an African nation – a heathen nation, a Godless nation – who arrested two men for homosexual acts. One of these men was sixteen. Sixteen! And do you know what they did to the pair of them? They stoned them. They took them out of the town and they threw rocks at them until the pair of them were dead. And do you know what I thought? Shall I tell you?’
An elderly lady in the front row called out ‘Yes’, to the amusement of those around her. Nixon smiled mildly at her, as if indulging her.
‘Stoning was too good for those men. Every rock that struck them was a just reward for their sinfulness, their immorality, their ungodly behaviour. Every drop of their blood that stained the ground was a reminder that they deserved to die. It was the wages of their sin!’
***
Excerpt from Bad Blood by Brian McGilloway. Copyright © 2017 by Brian McGilloway. Reproduced with permission from Witness Impulse. All rights reserved.

2015.23 REVIEW – The Forgotten Ones by Brian McGilloway

The Forgotten Ones
by Brian McGilloway

Copyright: 2015
Pages: 256
Rating: 4/5
Read: July 19 – 25, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 23
Format: E-Book
Source: Edelweiss
Series: Lucy Black #3

The Forgotten OnesBlurb:
 The body of an elderly man is hauled out of the rushing water of the River Foyle, cold dead. Detective Lucy Black is called in to investigate when it becomes evident that this was not a suicide: the man’s body was embalmed before it ever entered the water.

Confounded and exhausted, Lucy heads home to review the case in quiet; but there will be no rest for her tonight. She’s barely in the front door when a neighbor knocks because his wife’s sister has been attacked and they need her help.

As a string of strange crimes is unspooled throughout the city, Lucy is pulled in countless different directions… until she realizes there may be something dark and dangerous connecting everything.


Review:I received a copy of this for free via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All opinions below are my own.

Lucy Black. Oh how I love you! I mean seriously, I absolutely adore this book series!! There’s just something about Lucy. And Tom Fleming. And Lucy’s mom. I just have some weird love fest with these characters. I can’t help it. I almost missed out on this one, I was just randomly searching Edelweiss one day and came across it. I was so excited to see that there was more Lucy Black!

In this installment there’s a lot going on. Lucy definitely has her hands full. Her father’s Alzheimer’s is rapidly progressing (such a sad, sad thing to watch happen to family members). She has to figure out why an embalmed body is found floating in a river. Then she has to deal with a neighbor’s family member having an abusive partner. Oh, her boyfriend wants her to move in with her. Then there’s another string of murders. A string of murders that she has to figure out why they all seem to be connected. There’s a lot going on.

If I had to tell you the one weak part of this whole book it’s that there was so much going on. It was almost like there were too many dead bodies for me to keep track of. I eventually couldn’t remember which name went with which murder. I understood how they all connected in the end, but it was a lot of confusion for a little bit on my end. Now, that might just be because I read this book in bits and spurts, never really committing a whole lot of time at once. But it didn’t really slow down my enjoyment of this book whatsoever.

After about the 60% mark of this book (darned Kindle – I want page numbers, not percentages!), this book just absolutely flew by. There was a lot of action going on and I could hardly wait to get to the end to see how on earth everything ended up. The writing was excellent, the storyline was fast paced and exciting. The character development is exceptional. Overall it’s a book that I just want to gush about.

Truly, I can’t say enough about this series. I fell in love with Lucy after reading Little Girl Lost and Someone You Know. I seriously hope you would give Mr. McGilloway’s Lucy Black series a chance. While I personally am always a stickler for reading books in order, I can tell you that this book would read relatively well as a standalone.

Bottom line …. read this book! (Read this series!)

2014.24 REVIEW – Someone You Know by Brian McGilloway

Someone You Know
by Brian McGilloway

Copyright: 2013
Pages: 337
Rating: 4/5
Read: May 20 – May 23, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 24
Format:  E-Book
Source: Edelweiss via publicist contact
Series: Lucy Black #2

Someone You KnowBlurbJust before Christmas, the body of a sixteen-year-old girl is found along the train tracks on the outskirts of a small town. As Detective Lucy Black investigates the teenager’s tragic last hours in search of clues to her death, she realizes that some of the victim’s friends may have been her most dangerous enemies-and that whoever killed her is ready to kill again. Haunted by the memory of a case gone wrong, and taunted by a killer on the loose, Lucy finds herself pitted against a lethal opponent hiding in plain sight.


ReviewI received a copy of this book for free via Edelweiss for review purposes, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the first Lucy Black book, Little Girl Lostback in January. I really enjoyed that one and was excited to see this second book available for request.

Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed Lucy’s character. I just like her. And in this particular installment, she does some things that probably are not the smartest things to do. I actually couldn’t help but wonder if she purposely put herself in bad situations; did she want to get herself hurt or killed? At the end of the book it is assumed she does something (it’s alluded to, but never mentioned explicitly that she did it) and I think that was really telling about her character. I think it opened up a lot more as to who she really and truly is and where she will go from here.

The storyline itself was interesting. The missing girls storyline, while not very original, had some good twists and turns along the way, felt fresh and believable. The writing was very good. The other characters were well-developed. And I’m really rooting for Tom Fleming to come out of the mess he’s found himself in.

This is the second in a series, and I’m not sure I would advise anyone to read this one before reading Little Girl Lost. There’s a lot of stuff going on that really wouldn’t make much sense without the background information that book 1 provides.

Overall, another great book that has left me wanting more Lucy Black!!

2014.2 REVIEW – Little Girl Lost by Brian McGilloway

Little Girl Lost
by Brian McGilloway

Copyright: 2011
Pages: 238
Rating: 4.5/5
Read: Jan. 7 – 12, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 2
Format: E-Book
Source: Edelweiss

LITTLE GIRL LOST_cover imageBlurb: Midwinter. A child is found wandering through the snowy woods, her hands covered in someone else’s blood.

Authorities suspect the child is the kidnapped daughter of real estate tycoon Michael McLaughlin. Once they realize she is far too young to be the missing teenager, they reach a dead end in identifying the girl, who either cannot or will not speak. The only adult she seems to trust is the young officer who found her, Detective Lucy Black. A frenzied investigation to find the McLaughlins’ daughter and to discover the name of the mysterious child is ignited when it becomes apparent that the two cases are linked. As Lucy digs deeper and deeper into the case, she is forced to question not only the persons of interest, but everything she thought she knew about her own past.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free via Edelweiss for review purposes, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I had come across this book randomly on Edelweiss one day and my interest was piqued. Honestly the first time I saw it, there was no book description. All that was there was the book cover. This book’s cover really is what caught my interest (I’m not normally a big cover person). Maybe a week later my contact at William Morrow sent me more information on this book and I immediately clicked the link she sent through for direct access to the book. I loaded it onto my Nook the day Bout of Books started and I was off reading.

The first few pages in I had determined that this author must really have an issue with spell-check. I was a little concerned until I saw the tell-tale “our” on the end of a word instead of the American “or” version. That was finally when I realized that it’s okay that “curb” was spelled “kerb” and “pajamas” was “pyjamas.” I guess I should spend a little more time reading what publicists send me so I know that I’m actually reading a European author write a book set in Ireland! Actually it’s pretty sad because when I look back at the email I was originally sent the subject line actually reads: “#1 UK Kindle Bestseller now available by Witness.” Um, yeah, Tara … you could be a little more observant!

Anyway, I guess I should really stop with the rambling and get on with the review.

So, I will say that I was immediately taken with Lucy Black’s character. She just seemed to spunky and fresh. And you knew immediately that she was dealing with some personal issues as well. Her father is suffering from Alzheimer’s and she has moved back home in order to care for him. Her relationship with her mother is very seriously lacking. And she’s trying to settle into a new job in a new department. So what happens? She dives straight into a case and starts finding connections that some people don’t want to be made. Lucy is such a compassionate character – she really has a way with children and she’s a saint for what she deals with in regards to her father’s failing condition. She’s just a really likable character. I am also interested in seeing how her mother’s character is fleshed out in the future books. The door is open for them to have more of a relationship, I hope that it happens for both of them.

The writing itself was very good and the storyline was really interesting. There were a lot of twists and turns along the way. And when Lucy finally came to figuring out the entire thing, well in order to avoid spoilers, let’s just say that you will probably be surprised with how things end up unfolding. I especially liked how the storylines ended up weaving in together. I spent the majority of the first part of the book trying to figure out how the two cases were going to come together, so it was very interesting to see how they finally did – and not entirely surprising, either.

I’m excited that this is the first in a new series. I can only hope that the next book in the series will be made available in the US as well because I am very eager to meet these characters once again.

Highly recommended.