Blood Symmetry

Written by Kate Rhodes

Review written by Amy Myers

Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. Her contemporary series features classic car detective Jack Colby, and she is currently working on a new 1920s mystery series featuring Nell Drury, chef at Kent’s Wychbourne Court.


Blood Symmetry
Mulholland Books
RRP: £19.99
Released: June 30 2016
HBK

Alice Quentin, now Deputy Director of the Forensic Psychology Unit of the Metropolitan Police, has appeared in four earlier well received novels by Kate Rhodes; and I hope she will do so in many more. Blood Symmetry is a riveting thriller, set in London, where the author lives, giving the novel an atmospheric background as she knows the locations so well.

Clare Riordan, consultant at the Royal Free Hospital specialising in blood, is abducted while out for a jog on Clapham Common. With her is her eleven-year-old son Mikey who is also seized. But this is no ordinary kidnapping. The man and woman responsible are seeking revenge and have been planning this abduction carefully.

Clare, if tortured long enough, will give them the information they need, especially if Mikey is also their hostage. But Mikey escapes, and Alice Quentin is given the job of supervising his care in a safe house. A pint of Clare’s blood is soon found on a doorstep. It isn’t the only one and nor is her planned death.

In a race against time in the hope of finding Clare alive, Alice has to gently probe Mikey for clues. Mikey is traumatised, however, and unable to communicate intelligibly, and Alice, assigned to the Met team led by her new lover Don Burns, devotes all her physical and emotional strength to uncovering the nightmarish plans of the man and woman holding Clare Riordan.

This well written and passionate novel is dedicated to ‘everyone affected by the Tainted Blood Scandal’ of the early 1980s, one of whom is the author’s husband who lived through the after effects of the tainted blood. The result is therefore not only a first rate thriller but a moving ‘in memoriam’ to the many victims.  

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