NP Statham – Drawn in Blood

Once a month I like to make use of my Kindle which otherwise gathers dust on my bookshelf. By far the best way to utilise it is to download a book only available in e-format, which includes those self-published on Amazon. I’m choosy about which ones I pick and usually go for a crime book that has already been recommended. Recent finds this way have been the excellent Where the Devil Can’t Go by Anya Lipska and Eva Hudson’s The Loyal Servant My latest download was by a writer whose website I’ve been following for a while. NP Statham is based in Gotland, Sweden and her blog is a mix of reviews of Swedish authors and her journey to publication.

Drawn in Blood is the story of sixteen year old Rick Stone who lives in Mora, Minnesota. His life is turned upside down by the death of his brother Theodore whom he idolised. Although police initially accept a suicide verdict, the persistence of the investigating officer, Detective Milesson keeps the case open. Rick, torn between trying to continue his studies and trying to discover his brother’s murderer, decides to do some investigating himself.

For a book that has been published by the author, I thought that Drawn in Blood was very well edited. The narrative shifts between the first person of Detective Milesson and the third person of Rick Stone. I thought this quite unusual, as I’m more used to reading teenagers’ voices in the first person, but the structure worked well here. The character of Rick came across well and I think would be attractive to a young adult audience as well as a crime fiction reader. Rick’s travails, including his sorrow at the death of his brother and his despair at his fickle girlfriend made good entertaining reading, as did his astonishment at his brother’s hidden life.

The policeman, Milesson was in more traditional mode and took a paternalistic attitude towards Rick’s investigations. I don’t know much about the state of Minnesota but in this book it is presented as an interesting mix of the traditional and the modern. Milesson’s female professional partner has just had baby with her lesbian partner and the town of Mora seemed to have beneath its surface of middle-class family values, a very nasty underbelly.

Overall the book was an enjoyable read and it was nice to take a change from the style of crime fiction I normally read to one with a more youthful slant to the writing.

I bought my copy of this book.

The author has an interesting article about Minnesota on her website.