Thursday, May 14, 2015

Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild

A vicious serial killer is stalking the women of San Francisco.  His main motivation seems to be inflicting the maximum amount of pain and suffering before their death.  The SFPD has tied together four murders, with different methods and victim types but enough community in their type to be identified as the work of the same killer.  He doesn't leave clues and he isn't the typical sloppy killer.

Ellen Ridley, a young homicide detective, is put in charge of the case along with her mentor and partner, Sam.  After lots of investigative legwork, they have a suspect.  Stephen Tregear is a brilliant computer coder who works in security for the U.S. Naval Intelligence agency.  He is considered a high security asset and, although a civilian under contract, is monitored and protected by the military.  Can such a man be their killer?

After meeting with the suspect and some DNA evidence, Tregear's fantastic story seems to be true.  The killer is not Tregear but his father, Walter.  Stephen hasn't seen Walter since he was twelve.  That was the night Stephen discovered a woman's body in their garage after his father had gone to bed.  Stephen ran away that night and never looked back.  His intelligence and mathematical ability had rescued him and given him a life, but his purpose has always been the same: to find Walter and bring him to justice.  Walter wants to find Stephen also, but to kill the only person who got the best of him.

Stephen, Ellen and Sam team up to discover Walter's location and hopefully bring him in.  Stephen has investigated Walter over the years and suspects that Walter's death toll may exceed a hundred victims.  Can the team find their target before he finds and kills them?

Nicolas Guild has written one of the freshest, most suspenseful mysteries I've read in quite some time.  The tension between Stephen and Walter, each intent on finding and destroying the other, mounts steadily.  The tie between the two is also explored as Guild digs into the levels of familial connection and love.  This book is recommended for mystery lovers.

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