In Their Blood
Review: The 23-year-old son of a couple, who was brutally murdered in their home, returns to assume custody of his teenage sister and to identify his parent's killer in In Their Blood, a debut thriller by Sharon Potts.
Jeremy Stroeb is in Portugal, avoiding his family and responsibility, when his parents are inexplicably shot to death one night in their bedroom. His mother was a respected accountant, a partner in her firm; his father a politically active economics professor at a local university. Though the police believe the murders to be part of a burglary gone wrong, the only things missing are laptops belonging to the couple. Reasoning that his parents weren't killed by a random stranger, Jeremy takes a job at his mother's firm, and enrolls in classes at his father's university, with the intention of learning more about his parents, their associates, and what one of them might have known that someone was willing to kill for.
Fans of John Grisham's thrillers will likely be drawn to In Their Blood, which works both to the book's advantage and disadvantage. On the plus side is the familiarity of the plot and its pacing, which is really well done, moving the story forward at just the right speed, introducing elements that may be relevant to the outcome — or not — and enhancing the suspense without overwhelming it. But familiarity also works on the downside, resulting in a sense of predictability, or maybe inevitability, to the story. In what seems to be an effort on the part of the author to compensate, at least in part, for the latter, there are a lot of sources for suspects and motives … maybe too many. From the university campus to the corporate boardroom to various relatives and neighbors, there is no shortage of leads for Jeremy to discover and follow up on.
A strong secondary theme in the book is family, in particular, familial relationships and responsibilities. Here it's a little less successful, mostly in the heavy-handed way it's used to drive home some plot points and as motivation for the actions of certain characters.
Overall, though, In Their Blood is a thriller that offers the reader plenty of twists and turns, solid clues to follow and red herrings to distract, and a well-written and developed storyline that is sure to please.
Acknowledgment: Oceanview Publishing provided an ARC of In Their Blood for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Someone Must Die
Thomas & Mercer (Trade Paperback), June 2016
ISBN-13: 9781503936676; ISBN-10: 1503936678
Location(s) referenced in In Their Blood: Miami, Florida
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In Their Blood by Sharon Potts
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: September 2009
List Price: $25.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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