Fiction Book Reviews

Review : Written in the Blood by Stephen Lloyd Jones

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Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Headline (29 Jan. 2015)
ISBN-10: 1472204727
ISBN-13: 978-1472204721

 

WRITTEN IN THE BLOOD is the blistering follow-up to Stephen Lloyd Jones’ acclaimed debut novel and Simon Mayo Radio 2 Book Club pick, THE STRING DIARIES.

High in the mountains of the Swiss Alps Leah Wilde is about to gamble her life to bring a powerful man an offer. A promise.

Leah has heard the dark stories about him and knows she is walking into the lion’s den. But her options are running out. Her rare lineage, kept secret for years, is under terrible threat. That is, unless Leah and her mother Hannah are prepared to join up with their once deadly enemies.

Should the prey ever trust the predator?

Is hope for future generations ever enough to wash away the sins of the past?

With a new and chilling danger stalking them all, and the survival of their society at stake, they may have little choice…

Amazon UK

 Amazon US

I read (and was blown away by!) The String Diaries in July 2013.  I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a follow-up, after all, it couldn’t be as good as the first could it?  We now know ‘what’ and ‘who’  we are dealing with so where else could the story go in terms of a supernatural thriller?  I had put off reading Written in the Blood but there was no need to worry …  it is just as tense and intriguing as the first!

Written in the Blood begins fast paced with Leah making her way to Luca and this carries on throughout the story.

With the format the same, the story builds with different narrations from Leah, her mum Hannah and Gabe. This time we view the past via Izsak starting as a young boy at the start of the revolt against the hozzu eletek and his life moving forward.  The new danger is dark and felt very real and of course there is a link but we don’t know what for quite a while.  Here is the intrigue that I loved in The String Diaries, trying to work out how it all fits together (such a cleverly woven plot again).  There’s also a  shock (although on reflection I shouldn’t have been surprised) but it doesn’t turn out how you would expect it to from previous experience.  This made my cry for more than one reason.

The settings are once again atmospheric and I believed I was there with the characters.

There really are many tense moments (and graphic scenes) when I was totally caught up in the drama and I felt invested in what happened to Hannah and Leah.  My notes say “leaving each narration on a cliffhanger is a killer!” and it truly was.  The ending also left me needing to know more …  I want them to be successful with all my heart.

The String Diaries showed us the depravity of obsessive love – Written in the Blood is about familial love and the generations to come.

If you haven’t read The String Diaries you can read Written in the Blood as a stand alone as there is enough back story for you to understand, however, I would strongly recommend you read both.  In my opinion, these two books are outstanding.

 [pipdig_stars rating=”5″ align=”center”]

I would like to thank the publishers for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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