Today I am delighed t share my thoughts on The Blood Line, the bran new Finn and Paulson novel from Will Shindler. I love this series and am thrilled to have been granted an early copy via Netgalley by publisher Hodder & Stoughton. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
An ordinary day. An ordinary street. A gruesome delivery waiting on the doorstep that’s going to set off an spine-chilling chain of events…
Claire Beacham returns from a busy day at work to a parcel on her doorstep – no note, no label. As a politician, she’s used to being suspicious of anonymous hate mail but today she’s too tired to worry. She opens it, finding a gruesome surprise inside. A severed head falls to her kitchen floor; the rich, red drip of blood on her hands.
It is clear to Claire and those around her that this terrifying package is a message. But who sent it, and why?
It’s Claire’s first delivery – and won’t be her last.
DI Finn cannot enjoy the gentle return to his role in the Murder Investigation Team of the Metropolitan Police that he planned. Someone is targeting Claire and with every message comes another casualty. With the clock ticking, DI Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen must wade through the depths of the murky political sphere before the bodies start piling up.
Oh. My. Life. This book … It’s one of those ‘what did you just do’ reads with a ‘why did you do that’ moment, and it’s one for which I think the impact will be felt for quite some time, both on an off the page I mean … I’m delighted that Finn and Paulsen are back, I just wasn’t expecting to read that. This is a book packed with tension, uncertainty and danger, and one that really taps into themes that could, sadly, have been ripped form the headlines. Corruption, negligence, revenge, immigration and family are all very key themes in a story which packs a real emotional impact on so many levels.
I won’t delve too far into the plot – the blurb tells you all you really need to know. It’s DI Finn’s first day back at work and what a rude awakening it is too. Not as distressing perhaps as it is for MP Claire Beacham, but not exactly a day of light duties and paperwork either. Understandably, colleagues are concerned about the impact such a horrific case might have on Finn but, for once, he really does seem like he has gained some semblance of control over his grief, and is fuelled by a determination to find justice for the victims in this case, I like Finn as a character, like his vulnerability, and like the way in which Will Shindler has built an element of self doubt into his return to work. It would be strange if he came back firing on all cylinders, and so that hesitancy is understandable and relatable on many levels. You can’t keep a good man down though, and alongside his old partner in crime Mattie Paulsen, and temporary replacement Jackie Ojo, you have a wonderful team that it is a pleasure to spend time with, even if it is often also in the company of corpses.
The Blood Line sees the return of a face from Finn’s past, and a name that will be somewhat familiar to people who have read the first book in the series, The Burning Men. That adds tension, uncertainty and conflict to an already messy case, the victims bearing similar hallmarks to this particular villains M.O. And their return does tie into the main case, in a way which remains hidden for some time but will ultimately lead to some of the most unforgettable and impactful moments in the book. There are scenes of action which get the pulse racing, but none more so than the one towards the end of the book, the shockwaves of which will be felt for some time to come. It’s one of those watershed moments that feels like it might be a bit of a turning point for the characters too, and I’m intrigued to see how Finn will handle it.
I love the feeling of these books. That edge of darkness which is lessened to some degree by the simple humanity infused in the main characters. The author keeps the mystery flowing until just the perfect moment, the implications of what is revealed leading to an element of sympathy, if not forgiveness, for the perpetrator of the crimes. It’s another really gripping case, full of twists and turns, that kept me completely hooked until the very last page. if you love this series you will love, and hate, this.
About the Author
Will Shindler has been a Broadcast Journalist for the BBC for over twenty-five years, spending a decade working in television drama as a scriptwriter on Born and Bred, The Bill and Doctors. His time on these leading prime time dramas has given him a rich grounding in authentic police procedure, powerful character development and gripping narratives. He currently combines reading the news on BBC Radio London with writing crime novels and has previously worked as a television presenter for HTV, a sports reporter for BBC Radio Five Live, and one of the stadium presenters at the London Olympics.