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Thursday, 31 July 2014

‘Blood Guilt’ by Ben Cheetham

Published by Head of Zeus,
26 December 2013.
ISBN: 978-1-7818-5248-4   

A moment of anger gave DI Harlan Miller four years in prison and ruined his career.  Now released, he wants to make it up to the widow and children of the man he killed – and when one of those children is abducted, he has his chance to atone, if he can force himself to be ruthless enough ...

This book gives the back-story quickly, then takes us straight into Miller’s shattered world.  From there, the plot moves swiftly, with the search for the missing boy, and tension added by the 4-day count-down till he must be feared dead.  Miller’s remorse and self-loathing for what he’s done is vividly depicted and make his later actions plausible.  I found this book quite violent, because generally the ‘good guy’ is on the side of law, so Miller’s behaviour in some of the book’s scenes is more shocking than I expected, and I couldn’t always agree that the end justified the means.  Miller’s relationship with his former cop partner and ex-wife add depth to his character, but his main emotional focus in this book is Sarah, the missing child’s mother, and her changing reactions to him help drive the story. The Sheffield setting gives the opportunity for a variety of interesting characters and locations. 

A gritty page-turner, with plenty of action and an interesting hero.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Ben Cheetham  lives in Sheffield, UK.  His writing spans the genres, from horror and sci-fi to literary fiction, but he has a passion for dark, gritty crime fiction. His short stories have been widely published in magazines in the UK, US and Australia.
If you want to learn more about him, or get in touch, you can look him up at:

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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