My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Even though it easily stands on its own as a fascinating story, “A Measure of Blood” is the seventh Richard Christie novel, and gives us a little more of the lives of Richard Christie and his team. Kathleen George deftly weaves in details, picking up threads spun in the earlier novels, bringing the reader deeper into the world of Pittsburgh’s homicide investigators.
“A Measure of Blood”, at its deepest level, is about the bond of blood between a father and a son. Maggie Brown wants to bypass that bond and build a life with her son where there is no father, and no need for a father. In many ways she is successful: her son is healthy, handsome, highly intelligent and loves her with his whole heart. But already, at age seven, he is asking questions about his father, wondering who he is and why he never comes around. Matthew Brown longs for that mysterious father/son bond he has never known.
When his mother is murdered by a man who claims to be Matt’s father, the boy is thrown into a confusing spiral of grief and longing. Richard Christie immediately recognizes that finding a way to help Matt into a new life is just as important as catching the man who murdered his mother.
The identity of the murderer is never a mystery to the reader. Part of the narrative is told from his point of view and we learn that this case has no clear cut black and white, no dastardly villain, only another lost soul longing for a magical father/son relationship.
Richard Christie is reminded of his own father, who supposedly died when he was a child, and he begins his own search to find out if what his mother told him was really true. Christie’s wife, Marina, the star of the first Christie novel, “Taken”, is given a larger role here and there are hints that she may be even more important in novels yet to be written. Every member of the homicide team is a real person with families, troubles and heartbreak of their own.
Bonus! The orphaned children from “The Odds” return and we hear a little about how their lives are going, with possibly a hint that we may see them again. Altogether a satisfying and fun read.