What would you do, what lengths would you go, to keep your family safe? That’s the central issue for former mercenary/contract killer Nick Hunter in Blood is Heavier by Ella Medler (@EllaMedler). The key word there is “former,” as Nick chucked that life five years earlier to start anew with his wife Maxi, and later their son Cameron.
But everyone who’s ever seen an action/thriller movie knows leaving a life like that can be pretty tough. A powerful criminal wants Nick to do a very special job and he uses the two people Nick cares about most to ensure the former killer-turned-suburbanite won’t refuse.
No spoilers, but the story gets off to a crackerjack beginning before taking a slight detour to provide some backstory. After that things move forward to the resolution of this novel; a sequel is planned for release in May 2013 to carry an over-arching storyline forward.
(Note: review based on a copy of the novel I won via a giveway on FUONLYKNEW, a book review blog run by Laura Thomas. Never heard of it? You’re missing out.)
Blood is Heavier is told from the points of view of various characters, but — something I liked — the chapters are not all lined up nose-to-tail time-wise. For instance, the start of a new chapter may be several minutes or hours earlier or later than the end of the last. While this creates some overlaps and gaps in the story that may confuse less-careful readers, to me it felt very natural, especially as the characters acted and reacted appropriately when eventually discovering new information from each other.
The characters are well-developed even though the plot moves quickly, but I must admit to having some doubts about the plan hatched by the bad guys. It seemed, at times, to be overly-complex for the desired goal; at least once I caught myself asking “why didn’t they just” do something in a more straight-forward manner. A late reveal adds some context and sets up the sequel, but seems a tad over-baked.
But then again, who’s to say the sequel won’t pay-off entirely on that late reveal? I enjoyed Blood is Heavier quite a bit and am looking forward to finding out. To learn more about Ms. Medler and her writing, visit her website and/or her blog.