This is the UK edition, which
I like much better than the US cover.
Publication date: January 7, 2014
Source: I received this e-galley from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
My reading mojo is back! All it took was finishing up some work projects and starting a fresh - and very good - book. I completely relied on recommendation with In the Blood, because I don't typically read thrillers. Yet, I read it in two days.
In the Blood starts out with college student Lana Granger recalling the death of her mother when she about sixteen. All she recalls is that she is laying under her bed, a safe place, with blood on her hands, while her father goes about taking care of the body and mess, swearing he did not kill her.
Throughout the story, Lana returns to this scene and we see more pieces added to her memory. The difficulty is that Lana grew up a "troubled child," eventually (and currently) heavily medicated and unsure of many things. Although she talks to a counselor regularly, she doesn't trust many of her thoughts and feelings.
The story heats up when Lana takes on a babysitting job for eleven-year-old Luke. His mother, Rachel, admits she has trouble keeping a sitter for him because he is a troubled child who attends a special school for children with emotional, behavioral, and mental instability. Luke is unfeeling, sly, and manipulative and Lana begins to see signs of herself in him, relating to him more than she would ever care to admit.
When a friend goes missing, Lana simultaneously finds herself dealing with the police investigation; facing her death row father's request to speak with her before his execution; and wrapped in a manipulative game of Luke's that quickly becomes life or death. It is more than a regularly functioning person can handle, let alone one already dealing with medicated paranoia and dark thoughts.
What I love about this book is that it had my favorite plot element - twists. Not just a twist ending, but twists throughout. I didn't catch on at all until I was about 65% through the book. And even then, I never figured all of it out until the end. And even the very end wraps up with a great twist in which many readers will find satisfaction.
Have you ventured into any new genres lately and been pleasantly surprised?