What’s it about?
For over two decades, Detective Ray Truman has been searching for the killer or killers who have terrorized Portvale. Headless corpses, their bodies mutilated and posed, have been turning up all over the industrial district near the docks. The remains of young female prostitutes have been the killer’s victims of choice, but now other districts are reporting the gruesome discovery of decapitated bodies. It seems the killer has expanded his territory as more ‘nice girls’ feel the wrath of his terrible rage. This horrifically disturbing tale of a family tree of evil will embed itself in the mind of the reader, long after the last page has been turned.
Meet the Cunninghams . . .
A family bound by evil and the blood they have spilled. The large lodging-house they live in and operate on Artaud Avenue reeks of death and the sins that remain trapped beneath the floorboards.
Meet Caleb Cunningham . . .
Caleb is a disturbed young man whose violent father is a suspected serial killer and mother, an insane alcoholic. After his Father’s suicide, Cunningham’s disturbing fantasy-life becomes reality as he begins his killing spree in earnest. His identical twin brother Charlie is to be released from an asylum and all hell is about to break loose when the brothers combine their psychopathic talents. Eventually stepping out from the shadows of his murderous forebears, Caleb puts in motion his own diabolical plan to reveal himself and his ‘art’ to the world. He’s a true aesthete. An artist of death. His various ‘installations’ have not received the status he feels they deserve, so Caleb is expanding his ‘canvas.’
Meet Ray Truman . . .
A tragic cop whose personal demons won’t let him rest. Overworked and underpaid, Truman is tenacious as a pit-bull. He won’t rest ‘til he’s brought to justice Portvale’s infamous serial killer. His battle with his own demons gives him the strength to chase the shadows and to cut corners when necessary, as he embarks on the hunt of his life. His search leads him to the Cunningham’s house of horrors. What he finds there will ultimately lead him to regret ever meeting Caleb Cunningham and the deviant family that spawned him. The hunter becomes the hunted as Truman digs deeper into the abyss that is the horrifying mind of the most dangerous psychopath he has ever met.
Blood Related is a chilling psychological thriller that will leave you gasping for more.
This was a very very dark book. You know you sometimes read crime novels about serial killers and although they don’t show any remorse, you can still on some level sympathize with them, although you won’t admit it to anyone? I can assure you there is no love lost while reading Blood Related, there is no such thing in this book.
This story is about two brothers, Caleb and Charlie, but told mostly from Caleb’s viewpoint. We are witness to their massive body count, their insatiable craving for killing and blood and their crazy plans, instigated by Charlie and followed diligently by Caleb, for the future. There is nothing redeeming about their life story, there is nothing positive about these characters.
This book read more like some sort of memoir, taking some distance from the scene, than letting us in on the thoughts and feelings of Caleb. Apart from a longing for Lucille, the girl living in the house across the road and the protective feelings Caleb has for his brother, he has no other emotions that I can recall. And even those are alternated with murderous thoughts. He imagines killing Lucille and his brother too.
There are also police reports dispersed in between which really added a realistic feel to the story and almost makes you want to question if the Portvale Slayer did exist. Officer Ray Truman’s hatred for the Cunningham family is personal, but the focus in this novel is not on the police procedure.
I was feeling kind of ambiguous about where their actions finally went, it doesn’t lead where I thought it was going. I don’t think it’s very realistic that the police wouldn’t pull out all the big guns and resources if there was wind of such a big serial killer wave. I have lost count how many victims were mentioned but in any case it was a lot. I’m not sure I liked the ending either, I think I would have tweaked some of it there just to make me feel more satisfied.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in a giveaway.