A brutal murder, a race to stop the killer before they strike again – a common theme for a thriller, but is it actually thrilling?
Blood of Others
Author : Rick Mofina
First published June of 2002 : This edition published December 2012 by Carrick Publishing
359 Pages ; Kindle Edition
As is fairly common with the genre of thrillers, crime mysteries, and the like, it’s really tough to say much about the story without giving away too much and potentially ruining the story.
Because of that, we’re going to keep things pretty basic when it comes to discussing actual plot points or story beats. Instead we’ll focus on giving you a feel for the “vibe” of this book so you’ll know if it’s something you’ll enjoy.
The book opens with the introduction to our victim, Iris, and her immediate abduction. Wasting no time the book jumps immediately to the discovery of her body, which has been brutally mutilated and put on display in the window of a high end dress maker’s shop.
And like that the story is off to the races.
We meet the grizzled and grouchy detective with a long history of legendary case work, Walt Sydowski. Walt has lost his wife some years back and is still not quite over that, instead throwing himself into his work. He’s a pretty standard character – gruff and cranky, resistant to change but with a heart of gold that just wants to do the right thing.
We’re introduced to the veteran crime reporter, Tom Reed. Tom is a Pulitzer nominated journalist whose former biggest rival is now his boss, he’s scrambling to keep his job while also trying to be a good father and husband. Spoilers – He’s kind of failing at both. Another pretty standard character trope to be perfectly honest.
But these two make a terrific pair and Mofina does a nice job of bringing us into their minds as the story unfolds, while also not losing sight of the main goal of this book – a fast paced thriller as Sydowski and Reed both race to uncover the secrets of the killer before he strikes again.
There are a number of other characters, of course. A great many officers, detectives, fellow journalists, and the like. But the only other characters that become central to the story are a shy and quiet shop-keeper named Olive Grant and another officer named Ben Wyatt. I’ll not say much about their characters or roles because they have a fairly enjoyable journey as you discover their stories along the way.
I have to imagine that writing any genre of book, but especially with this particular type of page-turning crime thriller, has to be incredibly difficult to deliver BOTH a compelling story that keeps readers interested AND a story that feels unique in it’s voice or characters.
How many ways can you present a crime and the race to hunt down the killer before they strike again?
Mofina manages to pull it off nicely in Blood of Others.
While I’m not a hardcore crime/thriller genre reader, this story kept me hooked until the very end.
Again, no spoilers here, but Blood of Others takes the approach of introducing us to the killer relatively early on, giving us a look at their motives as the detectives and journalists race to crack the case. It’s an approach that serves to ratchet up the stress levels as we streak to the finish.
Instead of waiting to get a “big reveal” like a “who-dunnit” style mystery, we’re treated to perspective shifts as we move between the killer and the detectives and we’re left with a huge “Will they make it in time or will they come up short?” anxiety that only builds and builds.
Overall, I enjoyed this quite a bit and as the book sped towards the finish line I found my thoughts about it pushed that enjoyment higher than I expected it to. As I said, this genre isn’t one of my “go-to” genres and often I find that when I read crime thrillers I have a hard time feeling very invested in anything happening with the story.
But because of the handful of main characters and Mofina’s fast paced writing style, I was sucked in totally to this story.
As such, Blood of Others by Rick Mofina gets a 4 out of 5 stars.
If you enjoy a good old fashioned crime thriller featuring a brutal murderer and plenty of procedural crime investigation along the way, you’ll have a good time with this story.
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