Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
London’s economy has crashed and there is nobody you can trust, not even the police who have started taking bribes in lieu of doing real work. The Bank is quickly taking over everything, being the one organization that has actually thrived during this trying time.
Meet Cassius Jones; a disgraced police officer, but one that his still managed to hold his job after an undercover assignment went horribly wrong and wrecked his life. Even his marriage is crap; leaving he and his wife just living together, but without real love. It’s led him to plenty of affairs that most of the department knows about.
Cass is working a double-murder case. Two kids were shot on the street in plain daylight. It appears to be a missed hit on a local crime lord. And, the families of the boys and the media are screaming for justice and its Cass’s job to give it to them.
Then, a fellow officer takes leave for medical reasons and Cass now finds himself saddled with his caseload as well. A serial killer is killing women and leaving their dead bodies naked with the words ‘Nothing is Sacred’ painted on them in blood…oh yeah and fly eggs are left on the victims with such precision, nobody can figure out how the killer is doing it. And, if the bodies aren’t found in a decent amount of time the investigators come across a maggoty mess from when the flies hatch that would make anybody lose their lunch.
But none of that is as bad as when Cass’s brother, Christian, and his family are found dead in their home. It’s ruled as a murder suicide perpetrated by Christian, but the evidence found at the scene points to Cass. Now he has to prove his innocence to even be able to finish out his cases that all seem to have common links to one another. Can Cass figure it all out before the ‘Man of Flies’ killer strikes again?
A Matter of Blood is the first installment of Sarah Pinborough’s Dogfaced Gods trilogy that was released in the UK. Now Penguin is bringing the exciting series to the US, renaming it The Forgotten Gods. After, reading this book it is easy to see why they would want to! But it does bring forth my one major complaint with the book. I feel that they just took the book and left it as it was, added in a new cover and series name, but didn’t truly Americanize it. You will see the UK spellings (honour, realise, colour) throughout the book that feel like editing errors, but are really just products of the book’s origin. Also, you see the UK phrasing of things: petrel instead of gas, windscreen instead of windshield, to say nothing of the police titles DI, DCI and I never did figure out what NHS is, just that it’s some kind of healthcare program. It truly made me feel like I was reading a foreign novel, which in essence, I guess I was. I found it to be very distracting in an otherwise wonderful novel. With the great storyline and the confusion of the foreign aspects that had to be overcome reminded me a lot of Steig Larsson’s Millennium series, both of which are worth the effort, although I liked A Matter of Blood better! Please let me take the time to point out that I did read an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) of this book and that all of these complaints may be fixed by the time it’s published and I really hope they are!
Now on to the actual story…..
If you’re a reader that loves a flawed main character, look no further that Cassius Jones! He majorly fucked up in the past with his undercover operation and can’t forgive himself, which leaks into other facets of his life. His marriage is broken, not that his countless affairs have helped that any. He barely speaks to his brother, and when he does it’s only because he’s forced to. That’s to say nothing of the bribes he takes and the lines of coke he snorts on occasion. Yet, somehow he does have good morals buried deep within him that get unearthed as the book progresses.
The secondary characters were all well fleshed-out, from Cass’s co-workers, to his wife, and so on. I especially liked Cass’s personal assistant, Claire, and was secretly hoping that they would rekindle things later on. Once, you get to know his wife you’ll completely understand! I also found myself really liking Artie Mullins as well, he came off as a friendly crime lord that seemed to always have Cass’s back.
I liked this book throughout, but the ending was amazing! It left me in stunned silence….the only word that came to mind is WOW! It left me wanting for more and I can honestly say that I can’t wait for the second installment of the trilogy, The Shadow of the Soul, due out this summer! This book is a heart-pounding piece of crime fiction thriller that you won’t want to miss!