Saturday, August 17, 2013

ARC Review: Blood and Roses by A. K. Alexander

Blood and Roses
Publication: Thomas & Mercer (August 20, 2013)

Description: Someone is torturing and killing high-stakes players in the horse-racing world, deliberately mimicking equine injuries. Legs shattered, knees hobbled, shot point-blank between the eyes, all signs point to an animal activist gone rogue. But San Diego CSI Holly Jennings knows better. She’s seen enough violence in her time to know the difference between a killer bent on revenge and a killer seeking sheer destruction.

To stop him, Holly must venture beyond the gleaming facade of jockey silks and Derby hats into the seedy underbelly of the racing world, where ambition and greed trump ethics and fair play, and people will do anything—even kill—to win. But just when she thinks the killer is within her reach, a ghost from the past returns to threaten it all: her case, her job…and her life.

My Thoughts: BLOOD AND ROSES was a plot driven thriller that was fast-paced. Characterization suffered a little because of the focus on plot. And what a plot it was, including murders, terrorism, a couple romances, a husband returned from the grave, and the dark side of the the horse racing world. 

The story is told from multiple viewpoints. Each chapter is told from on character's point of view. The chapters vary in length buy most are short. Because there are so many points of view, little time is spent on character development. 

Police Detective Holly Jennings is the main character. We know she is a widow of a fellow police officer who died in the line of duty while doing a drug bust. The warehouse burned and his body was never recovered. She was pregnant at the time of his death and now has a daughter who is about 10. She has met another man who also has two daughters and she is planning their wedding, or, she would be if she wasn't so busy trying to solve her cases. She is a dogged investigator who feels that she can know if any of the people she interviews are telling the truth. She is described as being intimidating to suspects.

The writing was competent but not polished. I found the story readable but not emotionally engaging. Fans of thrillers and horses may enjoy this plot driven novel. 

Favorite Quote:
"I always liked that about you, El. You got that spunky little hard-ass thing going on."

She put a piece of egg on her fork and flicked it at him. "And you have that total ass thing going on."
I got this ARC through the Amazon Vine program. You can buy your copy here.

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