Made me contemplate with their demeanor like too much anger trust issues psychotic nature holding on etc The author have strikingly captured the child s voice through Max and how a child actually behaves in front of his parents when he is scolded or loved is very aptThe mystery is mind blowing and it kept me guessing till the very moment that author chose to unravel the identity of his true culprit and all the while this story disillusioned me to think about a wrong culprit So the mystery is very strongly wrapped into layers of twists and secrets that only made me anticipate till the very end The book focuses on the values of relationships especially a family The father son relationship is the best thing in the book and it is the only light amidst of all the darkness Marriage is yet another relationship that is layered into the plot from the very beginning till the end The author also sheds light on the fact that how a small crack in marriage can affect a child s behavior because a small boy only wants to hold on to his parents at the end of the day So yes holding onto one another matters a lot if there is a crack in the ship due to as sudden storm Overall this is an edgy psychological thriller which I m pretty sure will take you on a roller coaster ride filed with emotions hate and anticipation And to be honest the book kept me intrigued till the very last pageVerdict A must read book for all thriller and mystery lovers and if you want to taste something promising scary yet engaging read then this book perfectly fits the bill for you Courtesy Thanks to Harper Collins India for sending me over a copy for the book in return for an honest review I do have to say we have been spoilt with some great psychological thrillers recently and this is another This was a new author for me but I will definitely read of his work This is told through the voice of the father and we learn as the story slowly unfolds how the next door neighbour died I actually worked out who the killer was uite early on but this did not stop my enjoyment of the book as I was very interested to see why and how this had all happened Definitely recommend this one Scottish Alex his American wife Millicent and their eleven year old son Max live in an area of Finsbury Park London that is known as Crappy Alex and Millicent married uickly thirteen years ago they both work from home in the media industry From the outside they appear to be a regular modern family They are untidy they swear in front of their son they spend time apart but on the whole things seem to be going wellUntil the day that Alex and Max find their next door neighbour dead in his bath with an erection and an electric iron submerged alongside him Alex s initial thoughts are for Max no father wants his young son exposed to that sort of thing what will it do to him It soon becomes apparent that this is no straightforward suicide the police are looking for a murderer and Alex discovers that Millicent and the dead man had a little than the usual neighbourly relationshipAs the investigations continue and the police uestion Alex and Millicent truths are uncovered Max knows much about his parents than they realised he s an astute little boy at times he shows intelligence and maturity far beyond his years whilst at others his childish reasoning is at the forefrontEvery now and again a story comes along that grips me shakes me and totally messes with my head A Line of Blood is one of those books With the exception of Max and maybe Alex s friend Fab5 we are introduced to a bunch of particularly loathesome and selfish characters whose actions create waves affecting those around them The author s ability to create these people yet to also ensure that the reader finds them compulsive enough to continue reading is incredible I was hooked totally the plot weaves and twists and turns with an increasing pace Just when you feel as though you ve guessed exactly what has happened Ben McPherson throws another curve ball your way and another and anotherThe central theme of A Line of Blood is the damage that can be done to young minds not intentionally for Alex and Millicent are loving and open parents but their young son has seen and heard things that no child of that age should Max things he understands these things but he also thinks that he has a solution he wants to help and to make things better and despite his above average intelligence he is is still a child and it is his child like reasoning that consumes this novelThis is not an easy read and it is dark and it is disturbing but Ben McPherson has such a talent that he holds the reader entralled through each and every unsavoury episode raising uestions along the way uestions that will buzz in the reader s head long after turning the final pageA Line of Blood is a complex subtle and captivating psychological thriller with characters who are flawed dangerous and at times incredibly vulnerable 35 when Alex and his eleven year old son follow their cat into the unlocked backdoor they do not expect to see what they find The neighbor who has apparently committed suicide and is dead in his bathtub Soon the police beg One of the reasons we read fiction is to reaffirm universal truths Truths such as how we don t miss something or someone until they are gone How only the people who we love the most can hurt us the most How it is the betrayal of those we love that can scar us the deepest This knowledge once shared is somehow comfortingIn A Line of Blood we meet a small family living in North London Some would call them yuppies Alex Mercer a Scot is a television producer His wife Millicent an ex pat American writes self help *Books They Try Their Best *They try their best live their life and provide good parenting for their son who is an intelligent and precocious eleven year old named MaxAlex and Millicent did not have a usual beginning but rather almost a marriage of convenience After a hook up and instant physical attraction Millicent a California girl stays in London to be with Alex Because she is from the States the only way she can legally stay and work in England is to marry After fifteen years of marriage Alex has never met Millicent s parents They had muddled along nicely until they lose a baby a girl named Sarah Both grieve but Millicent has a breakdown of sorts and their son Max is so traumatized that his and his mother s relationship is
FOREVER CHANGED IN FACT THE ENTIRE FAMILY DYNAMIC IS changed In fact the entire family dynamic is changedWhen Alex follows his son into the next door neighbour s yard in chase of their cat what they discover will change and scar them even further They find their neighbour dead in the bath Fearful for the me. UicideBut as new information is uncovered troubling uestions arise Why was the neighbor charging his home improvements to the Mercer’s address How did a possession of Millicent’s end up in his apartment And what has Max been listening to through the common wall they share with the neighbor As the knot of suspicion grows tighter this close knit family begins to crack Is Alex really the loving husband he profes. Ntal trauma that seeing a dead body might have on his son Alex thinks that is the worst that can happen but that is only the tip of the iceberg The police find a bracelet that belongs to Millicent in the neighbour s house beneath the bed The police reuest that Alex help them with their inuiries Betrayals arrests psychological counseling adultery suspicion and domestic violence are all results of their discovery Life will never be the same for the family Alex calls his little tribe How the neighbour came to meet his demise drives the story and the reader is compelled to discover the who the why and the how it will change lives The line of blood differs from most other psychological thrillers in that the narrative is told solely from the male point of view via the character of Alex All the characters depicted in the novel were fully fleshed out and very believable Written with an empathetic voice and an understanding of human nature this is a debut novel that packs a punch It is eually disturbing and compelling I would highly recommend it to all lovers of mystery and suspenseThanks to William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss for providing me with a digital ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review Tapping into the popularity of domestic noir thrillers debut novelist Ben McPherson makes a brave move as a male writer dipping his toe into a mainly female marketA Line of Blood is told entirely from a father s point of view Alex Mercer his American wife Millicent and their young son Max seem to have a content life in Finsbury Park North London until one fateful day Alex and Max go to a neighbour s house in the search of their errant cat and discover the occupant dead in a bathtub seemingly having comitted suicide The ramifications of this take hold of their lives Max has to go to a child psychologist and Alex discovers that Millicent has spent time in the neighbour s house without telling him This turns his world upside down and the cracks in their marriage start to appear Their son grows increasingly disturbed and Alex s own difficult upbringing begins to affect the family Then a murder investigation begins and Alex finds his once comfortable life unravelling around him drawing him towards to some unwelcome home truthsIt is probably a testament to the strength of McPherson s writing that A Line of Blood is not an easy read It s a miserable affair as the family descends into domestic violence suspicion and woe The author vividly portrays the crumbling of Alex s world to such a degree that I needed several breathers to escape the high pressure emotion it brings outAs the relationship between the three central characters implodes each is revealed to be deeply unpleasant the arrogant Alex fickle Millicent and the intensly irritating and precocious Max Their unholy trinity of domestic despair relents with the arrival of Millicent s flighty and lively sister Arla who brings some light relief from the sadness and emotional intensity at play in this household The book has much in common with Gone Girl and it is hard to feel empathy or sympathise with the characters who are uite hard to like That s where your interest might waneThe detour into Alex s family background and his difficult relationship with his father starts promisingly enough but is interrupted and fractured as other events in his life interfere with this narrative strand which seems so integral to the plot The portrayal of the smug and touchy feely child psychologist treating Max uickly grates as wellThe thriller aspect of the book is satisfying enough with the murder investigation playing out and the possible involvement of members of the Mercer family pivoting to and fro Following on the theme of dislikeable characters though it s soon obvious that their dead
neighbour was not all that he appeared The police characters are solid enough but the main was not all that he appeared The police characters are solid enough but the main of the book is the micro study of the Mercers and how easily a family can be rocked to its core by one eventThe strength of A Line of Blood has to
be the level of emotional intensity that McPherson retains throughout the plot However this can be a little overpowering and the the level of emotional intensity that McPherson retains throughout the plot However this can be a little overpowering and the murder investigation struggles to make itself heard in this maelstrom of sadness and disturbing behaviour Undoubtedly fans of Gone Girl and The Silent Wife will lap this up and the uirkiness of a male author entering such an oestrogen fuelled genre is a point of interest but generally this tale of suburban sadness is a touch unsatisfying in its uneven execution This book was a standard okay An in the middle three stars I won it in a Goodreads giveaway and I think I was expecting What I got was a book based mainly on dialogue and even as a dialogue lover myself I wondered at the
editing in places Conversations that go on without very much being said for page after page Three pages when one in places Conversations that go on without very much being said for page after page Three pages when one could do Or leave it out altogether and SHOW the characters doing something anything Okay they do things but they still talk too muchHere it isDad Alex along with eleven year old son Max discover the dead body of a neighbor in said neighbor s house Well the door is wide open The cat walks in You gotta go get your cat right The death is grotesue an electric iron falls into a bathtub and this isn t a spoiler as it happens right at the beginningFrom there we discover Alex s wife knew the dead guy and maybe a little too well Get my drift There s also a spooky other neighbor and the sister of the dead guy and lots of long psychologically significant conversations in coffee shops in bedrooms and while characters are dressed or half dressed and sometimes naked Yes we have people answering their front doors nakedEach of the main characters husband wife son dead guy have long complex backstories which are slowly filtered through the plot until eventually the reader knows each of them inside out There s even an older woman Alex s mother with her own disturbing emotionally laden past While reading this I thought this is a novel in which NO ONE is ever happyThe police are involved too of course as this is a murder mystery novel But they do little than stand on corners watching people or uestioning them in a sort of vague way If they make an arrest the next day the person is let go It s all very wishy washy In fact the police are kind of shadowy characters existing on the edges of the inner emotional turmoil which Alex his wife and young son are all living throughSuffice to say I figured this one about a third of the way in Did the writer leave too many clues Ummm yeah he did Was the set up plot storyline believable Ummm maybeAt any rate I wanted to read it I did It s over I m done. Ses to be And where does Millicent disappear to on those long walks stewing over something she can’t forgetEach of them is suffering Each has something to hide And as they each uestion how well they really know one another the Mercers will be forced to decide how far they’ll go to protect themselves and their family from investigators carefully watching their every movewaiting for one of them to make a mistak. .
This is a psychological thriller I found hard to put down A Line of Blood begins where a father and son discover their next door neighbour dead in his bath with an iron between his legs amongst other things I ll never look at my iron in the same way again after reading this book and have the feeling every time I do the ironing I ll be picturing naked menThe story flowed well and with so few characters and places I found I was able to get into the story without having to try remember lots of characters It wasn t confusing at all and was very easy to read I found it chilling unnerving and almost claustrophobic at times I feel like I ve spent most of the last few days in and out of two houses and not uite managed to escape them in my mind yetAt first I felt there was an element of humour within this book but as the story progressed that feeling of dark humour was replaced by a chilling feeling as the story became serious and intense I m not sure I was all that keen on any of the characters although I wouldn t say there was anyone I truly disliked either Each character had flaws but I guess that is what makes us human I had suspicions about the outcome very early on and they were proved to be correct but this in no way ruined my experience of the story as the plot had lots of little twists to keep me interested and perhaps altered my views of the characters slightly as time went onI recommend this to fans of psychological thrillers and those who enjoy witnessing family dynamics and how each character responds in their own way to the same situationI read this for our Book of the Month discussion in THE Book Club on Facebook 35 starsMaybe I would have given a higher rating if I had read it at a different time The basic plot was good and I was a bit surprised by the ending but sometimes felt a bit wordy and too detailed for my taste Very well written for a debut novel though and would very likely read his next book In ye olde Domestic Noir genre you get a mish mash of reads some good some bad some really excellent and not many done by male authors Although a few If A Line of Blood is anything to go by then perhaps should be entering the frayWhat I loved about it was it was so much about the dysfunctional family than it was about the possible crime The next door neighbour kills himself probably or did he his body is discovered by Alex and son Max and then off we go into a tale of 3 people Husband Wife Child all of whom are entirely disturbing and completely frustrating In a good reading way I wanted to slap the lot of them frankly but I could NOT look away from the drama unfoldingTold by Alex the story goes on a beautifully constructed twisty path of domestic insanity where everyone is hiding something and nobody is entirely trustworthy uite aside from the who did what to who where no possibility seems too unreasonable you have some very insightful and thought provoking character studies an addictively absorbing style of writing yes Millicent your name by the end was tattooed on my soul and uite honestly no idea where it was all going to endThose are the best stories right RightClever writing clever plotting divisive and undeniably unlikeable characters who will get stuck in your head when it comes to this particular popular sub genre this is the way to do it Highly Recommended Every father should understand that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice UnknownBen McPherson a television
producer director and writer pens his debut psychological thriller A Line of Blood that traces the life of Mercer family afterdirector and writer pens his debut psychological thriller A Line of Blood that traces the life of Mercer family after father and the son discover the dead body of their neighbor which thoroughly changes their lives or rather say fills up their minds with lots of uestions and doubt about one anotherSynopsis You find your neighbor dead in his bathYour son is with you He sees everythingYou discover your wife has been in the man s houseIt seems she knew himNow the police need to speak to youOne night turns Alex Mercer s life upside down He loves his family and he wants to protect them but there is too much he doesn t knowHe "DOESN T KNOW HOW THE CRACKS " t know how the cracks his and Millicent s marriage have affected their son Max Or how Millicent s bracelet came to be under the neighbor s bed He doesn t know how to be a father to Max when his own world is shattering into piecesThen the murder investigation begins Alex Mercer lives with his son Max and wife Millicent in a small neighborhood of Finsbury Park London The book opens with the discovery of the dead body of the Mercer s neighbor in his bath tub electrocuted to his death and without any choice or rather say out of shock Alex lets his eleven year old son see the dead body instead of protecting it from the scene Gradually Alex falls into the suspect list by the local detectives and the neighbor s presumed to be a suicide rules out as a murder with a motive This whole incident unravels a lot of secrets not only about the neighbor but also about Millicent whose bracelet was found under the bed of that neighbor and amidst of all the domestic drama one person remains clam despite of his young age Max who registers everything casually and with any repercussion which his parents though would be very obvious But as the cracks of their marriage comes to light with their neighbor s death Alex s life changes forever when he realizes that it is too late to consider himself as a good fatherFirst I d like to hats off to this first time author by writing such a compelling psychological thriller and his writing style can be easily compared to that of Gillian Flynn s From the very first page itself the author gets into the minds of his characters by otting their intricate thoughts bad and good both The pacing of the book is steady since there are lots of layers in this book and this book can be projected from so many angles a mystery as well as a family drama The elouent and engaging way of story telling by spilling twists here and there kept me glued till the very endThe author s intention was to provoke domestic issues inside a family with a murder that the whole family has nothing to do with The characters are etched out as if someone who will instantly fill your heart with rage and despise Their flaws are so vividly captured and portrayed which makes the characters even vulnerable Although the book is a first person pov of alex still the author person POV of Alex still the author managed to captured each and every character through Alex s eyes Almost every other character projects an impulsive attitude except the eleven year old boy who looks so calm all through out the book Not only that the characters flaws are inspired from the reality and it. For Alex Mercer his wife Millicent and their eleven year old son Max are everything his little tribe that makes him feel all’s right with the world But when he and Max find their enigmatic next door neighbor dead in his apartment their lives are suddenly and irrevocably changed As the police conduct a methodical investigation Alex becomes increasingly impatient for them to finish After all it so clearly was a