“When Brooke Adams is found battered, bleeding, and barely conscious, the police are at a loss as to who her attacker is or why she was targeted. Then, PI Rod Morgan turns up convinced that Brooke’s attack is the latest in a string of unsolved disappearances dating back thirty-five years. The police, however, aren’t convinced, leaving Brooke and Rod to investigate the cases themselves. As secrets from the past start unravelling it becomes a maze, deeper, darker, and far more sinister than either of them could have imagined. Will they find Brooke’s attacker before he strikes again, or will that one secret stay buried forever?”
Happy to be taking my turn on the tour today for Blood Ribbon by Roger Bray. My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for my invitation and to the author for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
Can I just say how much I love the cover of this book? It is really striking and brilliantly encapsulates the story. So clever, might be one of my favourites for this genre.
This is a really solid thriller that has a gripping and disturbing premise at its heart that I won’t say too much about as it’s not hinted at in the blurb and I don’t want to give anything away, but it has a historical and psychological basis that is revealed throughout the book in a way that will keep you turning the pages until the very end.
The main character is Brooke, a young student who survives an attack on her which looks like it may be the latest in a string of historical crimes in the same area. Brooke is a very strong and determined person and, when the police don’t seem to be getting anywhere in investigating her crime due to lack of evidence, she teams up with a retired detective and PI with a theory about the crime, to try and track down her attacker herself. Whether or not this is a wise decision, you will have to read the book to find out.
The book is set on the coast of Oregon, which was great as I love any book set in the USA, especially those areas which are away from the normal settings we would visit as international tourists. The author does a good job of bringing the setting to life, and making it important to the plot. I would have liked even more description of the area, but I think that’s probably a personal preference because I can’t get enough of getting lost in the scenery of America, there will probably be the perfect amount for most readers who want to be able to imagine the place where the action is taking place in their mind’s eye but not be bogged down by description.
One of the major strengths of this book is the relationships the author creates between Brooke and her friends. Brooke has an unusual family situation, and the important relationships in this book are unconventional but no less meaningful for that, per haps more so even. Her history and the way her close relationships have been built makes those relationships, and the threat to them by the antagonist in the book, even more poignant and important to the reader when creating peril. It is extremely well crafted and, for me, is what really carried the book and made me so invested in it that I had to race to the end. The author also is not afraid to make some hard choices about who to imperil, which I admire and makes a huge difference in these sort of books and to your heart rate when you are reading as you realise, no one is safe.
If I had to point out a tiny negative, there were some points near the beginning where there was a little too much exposition that could have lost me if the author had not set up the character of Brooke so strongly from the start so that I was already invested in discovering her story. However, this was a flaw only noticeable in some very early chapters of the book and seemed to abate very quickly and did not appear later on and it was a very tiny issue that could easily be overcome by a further edit. It did not detract from my enjoyment of this book at all.
I really, really enjoyed this book. It was very original and riveting and I read it in only two sittings over the course of 24 hours. My iPad ran out of charge with only 20 pages to go which made me scream with frustration because we were at the tense denouement at this point and I was desperate to know how it ended. This a fabulous addition to the thriller genre, I am so glad that I got the opportunity to discover this author and I can’t wait to go back and read his previous work. I recommended picking up this book as soon as possible if you are looking for an engrossing read.
Blood Ribbon is out now and is available to buy here.
To follow the rest of the tour, check out the links to the other fantastic blogs taking part below:
About the Author
I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.
Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.
Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.
So here we are, two books published and another on track.
Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.
Connect with Roger:
Facebook: Roger Bray