I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Blood Will Be Born by Gary Donnelly as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Lesley Crooks for inviting me to take part.
DI Owen Sheen vowed never to return to Ireland, but he needs answers to the questions he has surrounding his brother’s death. On loan from the Met to the PSNI, he is meant to be setting up a new Historical Offences Team, but instead he finds himself partnered with DC Aoife McCusker to work on her first murder investigation. As the investigation begins to unravel into chaos, its roots deep in the dark past of the Troubles, will Sheen be able to put his personal agenda aside? And will McCusker keep her career long enough to crack the case and prove herself as a detective?
There is quite a lot of gore and violence in Gary Donnelly’s, Blood Will Be Born. Set in Northern Ireland, the book deals with the aftermath of the troubles. There are many characters who aren’t able to forgive and forget what happened in the past. Not least DI Owen Sheen who has returned to Belfast from London for the first time after many years. He hasn’t been able to move on from his brother’s death during a bomb explosion. He has questions that need answering, and he won’t stop until he gets them.
Gary Donnelly opens the readers’ eyes to what happened during the troubles in Northern Ireland, particularly in my case, as this took place before I was born. I have heard about it occasionally on the news, especially more recently, but it wasn’t something I was aware of when I was growing up. Opening with a horrific scene in which we see a young boy being led away by two men, almost certainly to his death, we know that things are only going to go from bad to worse.
I found Gary’s writing to be really engrossing, and I liked this introduction to DI Owen Sheen. He has no idea what he is going to be faced with when he arrives in Belfast, and his first crime scene is sickening. And with those involved willing to kill any potential witnesses to their crimes, you know that this is going to be a particularly tough case for the police to solve. And to top things off, DI Own Sheen is tasked with looking after DC Aoife McCusker, a detective with everything to prove, on her first major case. I did wonder how they were going to get on after their first meeting. Owen has a lot of his own troubles which are troubling him, and I wondered if he was going to drift away from the investigation in search of the answers that he needs.
You really do get the sense that the city is a ticking time bomb. Although it seems as though there is peace on the surface, beneath that, tensions simmer and bubble away creating an air of uncertainty. The police realise this, and they are acting fast to try and track down a callous killer. The tension continues to mount as Gary Donnelly pulls everything together into an action-packed finale.
I really enjoyed this book, and I’m pretty sure it’s a series that I will be sticking with.
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Publication date: 20th February 2020 (kindle) 17th September 2020 (paperback)
Print length: 448 pages
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