by Michael J. McCann
Genre: Mystery, Crime
Book SynopsisFour years ago Martin Liu was found dead in an alley and the physical evidence suggested it was a drug deal gone wrong. Homicide Lieutenant Hank Donaghue didn’t like the feel of it, but it wasn’t his case and it ended up going nowhere.
Now Donaghue and Detective Karen Stainer are drawn into the Liu cold case when an out-of-town graduate student is beaten up by gang members after asking the wrong questions about the victim. Donaghue and Stainer discover that Martin Liu’s cousin, Triad enforcer Peter Mah, has taken an active interest and is tracking down suspects on his own to extract his own vengeance.
As Donaghue and Stainer race to contain the violence sweeping their city, they must confront the troubling fact that new evidence, including the names of the men responsible for Martin's death four years ago, seems to be coming from the most unlikely of sources—a three-year-old boy!
Got an hour? Because that's how long it'll take to describe all the great things about this book. But I'll try to keep it to a more appropriate length. To summarize, it's a mix between episodes of Law & Order, Cold Case and a dash of X-Files thrown in, creating a very unique appeal. To be fair, I haven't read as many book in general as Bec and certainly not as many self-published books, but based upon her reviews (and Sharon's) and the few I've been either able to read or at least browse through, Blood Passage is one of the best self-published books I think I will ever come acorss. I've read highly acclaimed, traditionally published books that wouldn't stand up to this one in quality and would merely equal its entertainment value.
This book's got everything: a great main plot, interesting and not overwhelming subplots, believeable characters, true-to-life dialogue, and a satisfying ending that leaves you with just enough unanswered questions (it is a crime novel, after all), not to mention an appropriate level of researched description that would satisfy various kinds of readers. I'm the kind of person that gets bogged down with lots of description, especially seemingly unimportant details that go on and on. But with Blood Passage if I felt a portion was filler detail, unimportant to the rest of the story, I could quickly skim thorough it and get back to the action. If you're the kind of person who likes detail, this book's got it in measured amounts.
I don't feel I've done my job unless I find something about a book that could be improved. Usually it isn't that hard. Improper use of commas jump off the page most of the time, too many commas being the culprit, but where I diasgreed with this author's (or editor's) choice, I would have added a comma, which only speaks to the overall quality. The only other constructive critism I could find (and I'm stretching) was in the timing of the story. After a brief prologue at the time of the murder, the story jumps four years later. There were enough interesting and entertaining events that took place close to the time of the murder, which we learn through exposition, to justify a book in it own right, Blood Passage being its sequel. The bit that reminded me of the X-Files, which was the catalyst that brought the murder out of the cold case files, would have differenciated Blood Passage from its non-existant predecesor.
This is the first book in a series. I look forward to learning more about the characters; in this first one you read hints of an interesting past, for the main character at least.
Disclaimer: May not be appropriate for children due to violence and language.