Friday, May 7, 2010

a review of "Blood Lies" [33]

Blood Lies by Daniel Kalla
(Forge, ISBN 978-0-7653-1832-9)

Drug and alcohol addiction have had a huge effect in the life of Dr. Ben Dafoe. Not his own addiction. No, he is only addicted to riding his very expensive bicycles way too fast and in way too dangerous places. But his father was an alcoholic, his identical twin brother Aaron was a drug addict who disappeared two years ago and is believed dead due to the huge amount of his blood found in his abandoned car. And then there is his former fiance, Emily. It was her inability to kick the drugs for good that caused their breakup and now it seems it may have been the cause of her death.

Beside his job as an emergency room physician, from time to time, he has been called upon by the Seattle Police as a crime scene consultant. But this time, when he is called to a crime scene, he finds the body of the woman he once loved, horribly killed in her home and found with the dead body of another man. A man who turns out to be a drug dealer. Stupidly, it would seem, Benn decides not to admit his connection to the murdered woman, or the fact that just weeks ago, he had met her with the murdered man. Of course, they will find out shortly, as they always do and that does not paint Dr. Ben in the best light. As shocking as the bloody scene was to Ben, it is even more unbelievable when a swipe of blood on the wall of the crime scene turns out to be his. Is it possible that his twin brother is not dead and that the blood is Aaron's? When police seem about ready to arrest him, he flees the county to Vancouver to follow up a possible lead on his brother and attempt to clear his own name. Or is it possible Ben is being framed...if so, why and most of all how? Yes, it seems that blood can lie.

As readers know, I am always in search of the perfect mystery/thriller...and no, this is not it for me. The fatal flaw in my mind was one line...just one line...that allowed me to figure out the conclusion. More than that, it was if someone had plastered a Big Red Arrow on the killer's forehead with that line. Now, while I read a good number of mysteries, I am not that clever, so that is not a great sign. When something is said, when something appears, that apparently serves no other purpose, a light always goes on in my head. Is it unfair to judge a book by one "mistake"? Maybe, but it was that big of an issue for me.

That being said, otherwise it was a pretty good, entertaining book. The medical stuff and forensics are interesting, perhaps because it seems the author himself is a physician. It's pretty well written and the plot moves along quickly. Happily, unlike many mysteries, at least those where the main characters are not cops, in this book the police do not turn out to be idiots. And Ben and several of the secondary characters are likable enough and I always enjoy books set in the Pacific Northwest.

So, bottom line, a good, middle of the pack book, entertaining if not outstanding.


  1. bought that for mom for her bday!

  2. I do like medical thrillers/mysteries. You've got me very curious about that one line.

  3. MK, did she like it?

    Kathy, anyone that reads this and then read the book will be looking for it now, I guess.
    If you read it, I will be curious if it jumps out at you too.

  4. I wonder if I can figure it out too ... I'm amazingly dense when it comes to stuff like this. And I hope someday you find the perfect thriller/mystery.


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