Blood Secrets

Blood Secrets

  • Paperback
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.34g
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0552112909
  • 9780552112901

Review Text

Half of a terrific modern gothic is better than none, so there'll be a receptive audience for this leanly promising suspense debut - which does just dandily until it has to start explaining itself, revealing, hysterically, its flimsy foundation. On page one, narrator Irene Rutledge Mattison is on trial for murder - we're not told whom she has killed - and the rest of the book is a 20-year flashback ("I'm going to tell you about the murder itself and the circumstances leading up to it"). Knowing Irene is headed for murder, we're primed to read tension into her initially low-key, crisply told story: her days as a star grad student; her attraction to tall, ugly, "weird" history major Frank Mattison; his obsessive reticence about the large, backwoodsy family he has cut himself off from. irene and Frank marry, despite frowns from Irene's father and friends, maintaining separate teaching careers even when baby Regina arrives - a bit of a bad seed spoiled by adored father Frank, just barely tolerated by Irene. But as Regina hits puberty, the roles change, and Frank's over-protective ways are driving Regina up the wall. likewise Irene, who worries about Frank's erratic behavior, especially when Frank's much older, estranged sister drops hints about a halfwit sister of Frank's - also named Regina - who long ago committed suicide, perhaps because of Frank's incestuous interest. Is Frank similarly inclined toward daughter Regina? Irene's in a panic, determined to protect Regina, still in love with Frank. There's a Rosemary's Baby-ish frisson when you realize before Irene does just who the danger to Regina is, but the long, feverish explanation/showdown that follows - revealing a vast incest-arama cult in Frank's family - is potboiler-silly-sensational, undermining the believability of all that has gone before. This dodo denouement doesn't come till the end, however, so chill-hungry readers can enjoy the nicely knotted domestic tension and aroma of undefined evil that first-novelist Jones fabricates so well till the moment of reckoning catches him up short. (Kirkus Reviews)show more