ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Unger is an internationally bestselling author. With books published in a whopping twenty-six languages and millions of copies sold worldwide, she is widely regarded as a master of suspense. Unger’s critically acclaimed books have been named on the “Best Books” lists of Today, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, People, Amazon, Goodreads, and many others. She has been nominated for, or won, several awards, including the Hammett Prize, the Macavity Award, Thriller Award, and Goodreads Choice Award. In 2019, Unger received two Edgar Award nominations, an honor held by only a few authors, including Agatha Christie. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Travel + Leisure. Unger lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.
Lana Granger is leading a deceitful life. She has almost graduated from college. With her trust fund almost tapped out, Granger is forced to babysit a distressed boy named Luke. Having been expelled from several schools throughout the country, Luke is an expert when it comes to controlling and manipulating the people around him. Then one night, Lana’s best friend, Beck, goes missing under mysterious circumstances. To make matters worse, Lana’s story about Beck’s whereabouts does not coincide with eyewitness accounts. It seems that Lana’s truth is no longer safe.
WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT IN THE BLOOD
At 417 pages, In the Blood is just the perfect length for a thriller. The novel is riveting enough to stand out from other books in the genre. The story is engaging, the characters striking, and the plot has its fair share of red herrings. There is barely a dull moment in the book, and readers always find themselves guessing what is coming next.
In the Blood alternates between Lana’s point of view and the diary entries made by an unnamed female. The back-and-forth nature of the narrative offers the readers two very distinct story lines. It also adds to the suspense as there are two possible characters who could have written the diary. And if you relish novels with twists and turns, In the Blood is bound to captivate you. Sneaking up a little at a time, its plot twists are both dark and haunting.
The characters are quite lovable, which is down to how interesting, realistic and different they are. The depth of characterization is simply mind-boggling. Their unreliable nature works as the frosting on the cake.
Both the plot and its pace are impeccable. The author’s writing style further endears the story line to the readers. As a reader, you would do well not to catch yourself wondering as to how an author can reach such deep, dark depths of a warped psyche. This psychological thriller is not short on terror, which keeps floating beneath the surface, and takes the readers by surprise when they are least expecting it. And once it does rear its ugly head, it threatens to pull the readers underneath.
In the Blood has all the ingredients to qualify as a page turner; it is nail-biting, creepy, and quite traumatic for even the most seasoned fans of the genre. This stirring novel not just keeps the readers on their toes from the first page to the last, but also raises serious questions about genetic legacies. It forces one to reflect upon the effects of mental illnesses and the stigma borne not just by the ailing, but by their family as well.
WHAT WE DID NOT LIKE ABOUT IN THE BLOOD
Despite its constant unpredictability, the story just gets too impractical and realistic. The plot is driven by the quest to find the missing person, and the lack of urgency can get frustrating at times. In fact, the leisurely pace at which the events unfold undermines the element of suspense it was designed to intensify. Part of the problem might be the fact that the missing girl is not much of a character. We barely know anything about her, and whatever little we do does not make us particularly fond of her.
Is the prey complicit in its own demise? Are we not seduced in some small way by the beauty, the grace, even the dangerous soul of the predator?
What we think of as our “gut instincts” are really a very complex mosaic of past experiences, deep-seated hopes, fears, desires.
Every couple starts off loving each other, don’t they? It’s how a relationship ends that really defines its nature.
What does it mean to forgive someone? It only means that you release the anger, the hatred. It doesn’t mean that you’re saying it’s all right now, or that you’ve forgotten the wrong. It just means that you’ve drained the boil. When you touch it, it doesn’t hurt as much. That’s all.
I think we draw people into our lives. It’s as though we broadcast our deepest needs, and certain people hear the signal somewhere in their own subconscious and heed the call. For better or worse, we attract our teachers, our allies, and sometimes even our nightmares. Some of us have louder signals.
In The Blood is a contemporary psychological suspense that takes your emotions for a nonstop roller-coaster ride. Grabbing an easy 3.8 out of 5, this is THE book to read if you can overlook the slightly unrealistic aspect of the plot.
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