So you’re on holiday in Florida, you’ve met up with another two couple’s from the UK, spent time together all fairly standard stuff and then on the last day, a girl goes missing from the resort. You’re interviewed by the police and allowed to return to the UK. Would you make a date to meet up with your fellow holidaymakers away from the sun?
Well that’s exactly what the couples in our story did. It has to be said some were keener than the others to get together but they grouped together round Angie and Barry’s table they begin to get to know each other on home ground so to speak. Inevitably the conversation becomes dominated by what could have happened to Amber-Marie and how she had disappeared so suddenly. Of course it goes without saying that one uncomfortable dinner party isn’t enough for these intrepid travellers, as Ed and Sue host one as do Marina and Dave. For the reader who doesn’t have to endure the actual company, these are brilliant parties with each character showing their hand a little bit more.
Over in Florida Amber-Marie’s mother Patti Lee Wilson is naturally distraught and the manager of the resort where she has camped out is fearing she is bad for business, or he’s simply run out of what little compassion he has.
Jeff Gardner is working the case in the US and left to voice the increasingly trite sounding reassurances that the case is getting the department’s full attention. And then there is a murder in the UK and a bright trainee PC, Jenny Quinlan decides to contact Jeff and so the investigation progresses both sides of the Atlantic.
In between the dinner parties themselves not only does the investigation gather pace but we hear what the characters are doing, what worries them and, for some, what have they found on the internet that they can mull over and dissect at the next meeting. We also hear the killer’s voice but I have to admit, it wasn’t who I thought it would be.
I can safely say that none of the characters have bucket loads of redeeming features but they are all recognisable, you probably work with at least one of them! There characteristics range from mousey through to an arrogant assumption that their opinion is what everyone is waiting for, from the geeky nerd to the wannabe actress and from the neurotic to the grumpiest man on the planet – why the couples are with each other is intriguing enough let alone why they would voluntarily chose to spend time with the other couples!
In a nutshell that is the beauty of Rush of Blood this standalone novel has a different feel to the Tom Thorne books, although fans will be pleased to hear he does have a cameo role. While there is a mystery to solve it is more firmly in a whodunit than a why which makes it possible for the author to experiment with the amusing character studies which contrasts behaviour between the couples themselves and how they behave in a group situation… and the author doesn’t neglect the detectives either but I’ll let you make your own minds up about them!
I found Rush of Blood an absolutely fascinating read whilst vowing to myself to make sure I look as unfriendly as possible on any future holidays I may take!!
I’d like to thank Grove Atlantic for allowing me to read Rush of Blood. This honest review is my thanks to them.