Tuesday, October 6, 2015
A Line Of Blood by Ben McPherson
When their cat goes astray, Alex Mercer consoles his eleven year old son, Max, but to no avail. The boy searches and comes to get his father as he finds the cat in the neighbor's yard. Father and son climb the fence to retrieve the cat but before they can, the cat disappears into the neighbor's house through an open back door. Uneasy, they follow it in and make a gruesome discovery. The neighbor, Bryce, is in his bath dead. There is also an electric iron in the bath and it appears that he has committed suicide.
Alex is appalled and worried about the effects of such an event on Max. When his wife, Millicent, comes home, they worry about what has happened and find a child psychiatrist to talk with Max. Alex is wracked with guilt over allowing his son to see such a horrific sight. But the horror is only starting.
Soon the police come to take statements. It becomes apparent that they believe that the death may not be a suicide, but a murder. They are suspicious of Alex but he isn't worried, hardly knowing the man. Still, as the days unfold, Mercer family secrets start to emerge and it begins to seem possible that the family is involved in the death. Alex and Millicent's marriage has been in trouble for a while. They are fighting to stay together and to keep a family intact for Max. But as time goes by and revelation follows revelation, it becomes more apparent that things will never be the same again.
Ben McPherson has written a taut, mesmerizing mystery. It's story unfolds in a way that keeps the reader turning pages, horrified to see what comes next but unable to turn away from the tragedy. Readers will question how well we ever know anyone, even those closest to us. This book is recommended for mystery readers.