Book Review of Flesh and Blood by Ed James – Fast Paced and Solid!
My Rating – 3.8 out of 5
Plot Summary – Flesh and Blood
Over the last couple of years, I have read a fair few numbers of Ed James‘ books, mostly the DI Fenchurch series. And that makes me wonder that Ed being such a fantastic storyteller, should get featured more frequently on international bestseller lists than he actually is! His writing of police procedural is meticulous, detailed, and very engrossing – making his books (at least the ones I have read) such fabulous reads. It probably has to do something with the fact that he started by self-publishing his books before bagging a publisher, and his marketing is also very minimal till now.
Well, getting back to ‘Flesh and Blood’ – this is the second book of the DI Vicky Dodds series, the first one being ‘Tooth and Claw’ – and comes after a long gap after the first. Not having read the first one, I didn’t really feel too out of the loop, though a closer look at Vicky’s past life would have been better, but I can always go back to book 1. Vicky has moved on from her rocky marriage to Alan, and along with her daughter Bella, is staying with Rob and his son Jamie.
It’s certainly a challenging scenario for two adults with their children to start staying with each other as a composite family – particularly with young children whose chemistry is a large unknown. Though this struggle, in itself, makes for an interesting side story!
On a Sunday, Vicky is called away to a grisly murder scene in Carnoustie, Scotland, away from her allocated patch of Dundee. The opening of a luxury Golf resort in Carnoustie is marred by the discovery of a body in one of the bunkers and it seems to be one of the guests from last nights gala pre-opening ceremony. Around the same time, another body is found with similarities to the first one, making it a serial killer case.
Not just that, there are glaring similarities with another serial killer case decades ago, which was not solved, and as the investigating officer of that case, Vicky’s father was left a broken man with his own unrelenting demons haunting him daily. As the case whirlwinds towards a messy conclusion, are the two cases related, and if the killer is caught, will it bring closure to two generations of Dodds?
Conclusion – Book Review of Flesh and Blood
As always, Ed James brings his characters to life with great elan, and the police procedurals are as elaborate and detailed as Michael Connelly‘s (albeit set on a different continent). You, the reader, get an inside view of how grueling a serial killer investigation can get, particularly when it looks similar to an unsolved streak from decades ago. The heaving of a life left in disarray due to an all-consuming murder case also leaves deep psychological scars and only a cathartic resolution can apply a soothing balm over them.
If you are not too hung up on big names – as far as Authors are concerned, give this a go. You will be both, pleasantly surprised and hankering for more. Even the DI Simon Fenchurch series is a fascinating series through and through, and before long you will be waiting for the next instalment! So for all fans of murder mysteries and suspense thrillers, I would recommend this, give it a try, you wouldn’t be disappointed.