Thursday, July 28, 2016
Blood Symmetry by Kate Rhodes
Dr. Alice Quentin is a forensic psychologist in London. She has just started a new job, heading up a department in a top drawer psychological consulting firm. That would be challenging enough but she is immediately drawn away by the police to consult on a baffling case.
Dr. Clare Riodan and her twelve year old son, Mikey, have been kidnapped while on a morning run. Mikey managed to escape but the trauma of the ordeal has left him mute. The police desperately need to know what he knows in order to try to find his mother. As the case progresses, it turns out that Dr. Riodan, an expert in blood diseases such as hemophilia and leukemia, is only the latest in a series of abductions. Several other blood disease doctors have also been abducted; two have been found dead.
Adding to the tension, Alice and the commanding officer of the investigation are involved in a personal relationship. Burns wants a commitment but Alice is leery. She doesn't let herself get involved with others.
It becomes apparent that the abductions and murders are somehow tied to a governmental/medical scandal of the 1980's. The government purchased blood from abroad to make up a deficit and that blood had not been adequately tested as HIV and other diseases like Hepatitis C were not mainstream issues yet. Thousands of patients were given this tainted blood and developed fatal diseases. An investigation into the matter ended up with the government refusing to take responsibility and the victims getting only a nominal monetary settlement. Alice believes that the killers are somehow tied to this scandal. Can she and Burns solve the case before Clare is the next death?
This is the fourth novel in the Alice Quentin series. Kate Rhodes does extensive research for each novel and this one is especially near to her. Her own husband was one of the victims of this scandal, receiving blood that gave him hepatitis C. Readers will learn about this medical subject along with an intriguing mystery. This book is recommended for mystery readers.