Blood Crime by John Brindley

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Blood Crime by John Brindley

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Tremendously original thriller in which the action largely takes place through the thoughts of a boy in a coma. A short, sharp blend of science and whodunnit, this one is for readers who like their books to come straight out of leftfield. Great stuff.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 160 Date: August 2010
Publisher: Orion
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 184255719X

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Joe is lying in hospital in a meningitis-induced coma. It's the last straw for his mother - Joe has been unable to cope ever since his father died, refusing to believe in a tragic laboratory accident and accusing his ex-research partner and her new boyfriend of murder. Before he became ill, Joe's state of mind had become dangerously unstable, and now it's up to his uncle Frank, a hospital consultant, to save him. But Joe isn't lying there insensible: he's fighting the greatest battle of his life - rushing through his veins and arteries evading the aggressive bacteria, rousing his body to fight back, and trying to work out what really happened to his father and whether his own illness has anything to do with it.

Annie, Joe's cousin, proves an unlikely ally. They're like chalk and cheese, Annie and Joe, but they do share determination and an utter refusal to ever give up. Greatly affected by Joe's sketches and scribblings in the wake of his father's death, Annie begins to suspect he may have been right all along. A murderer is at large and if Joe can't expose him, then Annie decides that she will.

They don't know they're working together, but they are - and together, they make a formidable force. But time is running out for Joe...

I know John Brindley from his books about genetic manipulation, so I know he likes to write about science. And he always makes it exciting. Here, we have a more realistic setting than I'm used to from him, and I did wonder whether we'd see less tension too. But not so. I read Blood Crime in one breathless sitting - it's short, sharp and exciting, and it doesn't waste a word. In many ways, this replicates the acute nature of the meningitis that Joe is suffering from. Time is of the essence. Joe's consciousness and Annie's real self career along, always in extremis, and always matching one another as they try to uncover the truth - it's really quite a tour de force.

In Joe's section, the science is to the fore - readers will learn a great deal about the way the body works as Joe flees the meningitis bacteria from his brain, down his spine, through his arteries and into his lungs, pancreas, kidneys and even his bladder. It's tremendously visual and utterly gripping. Annie's sections are more straightforward - she just gets the boring old car chases across town!

I did enjoy Blood Crime - it's a tremendously original thriller - short, sharp and accessible to all, but with some quite complicated scientific ideas to challenge. A super blend of science and whodunnit, this one is for readers who like their books to come straight out of leftfield.

My thanks to the good people at Orion for sending the book.

They might also enjoy Jacoby's Game by Alison Prince, which also takes place in the consciousness rather than the real world. Dead Boy Talking by Linda Strachan might also appeal: as a victim of life crime lies dying in the street, events leading up to his murder flash before his eyes.

Buy Blood Crime by John Brindley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Blood Crime by John Brindley at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Blood Crime by John Brindley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Blood Crime by John Brindley at Amazon.com.


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