Review: ‘Blood Ties’ by S.J.Rozan

Having been sent ‘Blood Ties’ to review for Waterstones, I’m intrigued as to the rest of the Bill Smith/Lydia Chin series, although mainly for the characters as opposed to the plotline.

Bill Smith is a private detective, whose nephew, Gary, is arrested after running away from home to do ‘something important’. After bailing Gary out he runs away, and Bill is put on the path of uncovering murder, rape and most importantly, finding his nephew before it’s too late.

The plotline is fairly compelling, although I felt it dragged a bit occasionally and the ending was somewhat of an anti-climax after Rozan had built the tension for so long. No, what made the story compelling was the relationships Bill Smith had with the world around him – with his estranged sister, his partner and potential love interest Lydia Chin, and those he forms whilst looking for Gary, particularly with Stacie Phillips, the high school reporter. Through these, we see the turbulence going on in Bill’s mind, and his inability to reconcile the past with the present. It’s intriguing to watch him both love and loathe Lydia, want to protect yet escape from his sister, and…well, wanting to beat Scott Russell to death.

The writing itself was a little hard to comprehend at times: sentences seemed to want to describe and infer and altogether do too much in a short space of time. Rozan clearly knows what she wants us to take away from the novel, but sometimes it seems a bit convoluted to get a clearly defined picture.

However, it has definitely sparked an interest in the detective series, and if only to see how the characters evolve, I will definitely keep an eye out for the previous and next installments of their literary lives.




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