Friday, June 9

Blood's Burden by Alex Matthews

Review by Andrea Maloney

In the eighth Cassidy McCabe mystery Bryce Palomar is home with his girlfriend Kit when someone breaks in and kills her.  Or did they?  All evidence points to Bryce with the doors being locked, the gun on the scene and a fight heard just before the killing.  Even his father, Zach, has a hard time believing in his innocence. Zach is married to therapist Cassidy McCabe. Cassidy doesn't believe her stepson is guilty and sets out to prove his innocence along with Zach who is an investigative reporter.

Cassidy and Zach find numerous people who might have had motive to kill Kit including a drug dealing boyfriend and a minister father with something to hide. An unexpected pregnancy also gives someone a motive for murder. They are hindered in their investigation by Zach and Bryce's troubled relationship. They have an ongoing power struggle and any time they get together they just can't seem to stop fighting and arguing.  Along the way there is another murder attempt, skeletons in the closet are rattled and this all leads to a breathtaking conclusion.

Although this is the eighth Cassidy McCabe mystery I didn't feel at all lost not having read the previous books. Matthews does a great job at filling in details from previous books needed to keep the storyline flowing. She has created a believable and likeable character in Cassidy McCabe. Cassidy's ever present inner voice gives insight into her inner psyche while adding depth to the story. Matthews does an excellent job at showing how Cassidy is an evolving character with flaws but one who is working on the flaws to be a better person.  Blood's Burden is deftly written, tightly plotted and filled with delightful characterizations. The mystery itself has many twists and turns and will leave you guessing until the very end.

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