One Blood by Graeme Kent
|One Blood by Graeme Kent|
|Category: Crime (Historical)|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: One of the best current crime series continues with another strong offering featuring superb characters and an outstanding setting.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 272||Date: June 2011|
This follows on from Devil-Devil although for once, I've managed to avoid any major spoilers.
Sergeant Kella is being sent from his native Malaita to another part of the Solomon Islands to investigate logging sabotage there. In the same district, his friend Sister Conchita has assumed reluctant control of a mission with three elderly sisters living there who are rather set in their ways, to say the least. Then a body turns up in the church… is this related to the sabotage? And how does the wartime history of John F Kennedy, vying to become the new President of the USA, fit in to all of this?
There are many things making this an enjoyable read – Kent has a writing style which can draw you in and writes good dialogue. The really strong points, however, are the characters and the setting. Kella – a well-traveled and highly-educated Solomon Islander who has become a policeman but is also the aofia, the traditional law-bringer of the islands – is a fabulous hero, and Conchita is a feisty heroine. The supporting cast is also very well-drawn, and Kent once again does a superb job of giving them all their own motivations and making them feel like much more than just minor characters. Even better than these characters, though, is the wonderful portrayal of a country making its way towards independence and the contrast between the modern ways being forced on its inhabitants, to an extent, and their own traditions. The setting is one of my favourite of recent times and Kent really brings it to life perfectly.
As far as the plot goes, there are a couple of bits which strain credibility somewhat – notably Sister Conchita seems more well-informed about a particular aspect of American politics than I’d have expected even someone living in the States to be at this time – but it’s pacy and always exciting, while the overall conclusion to the mystery is cleverly plotted and very well revealed. It was also really unpredictable – I had several theories as to how everything would turn out in the end and none of them came particularly close!
All in all, I didn’t think this was quite as good as the excellent first book – but it’s definitely one of my favourite current adult series and I’m really looking forward to book 3.
Both this and Devil-Devil are definite recommendations to crime fans.
For another enjoyable mystery in a well-portrayed location, check out Bait by Nick Brownlee.
You can read more book reviews or buy One Blood by Graeme Kent at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy One Blood by Graeme Kent at Amazon.com.
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