cover image The Weight of Blood: A Chris Ryder Thriller

The Weight of Blood: A Chris Ryder Thriller

D.B. Carew. NeWest, $14.95 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-988732-92-3

At the start of Carew’s tense sequel to 2014’s The Killer Trail, Chris Ryder, a social worker at the Institute of Forensic Psychiatry in Vancouver, Canada, wakes up early one morning from a nightmare in which his half-brother, Ray Owens, threatens him with a gun. The next day, Chris learns of the murder of an ice cream vendor, whose suspected killer, autistic 20-year-old Marvin Goodwin, was arrested at the scene covered in blood. The authorities place Marvin in the institute, where Owen helps assess whether he’s fit to stand trial. Chris comes to believe Marvin is innocent, and risks his life in an effort to identify the real killer. Meanwhile, Chris’s own traumatic past haunts him. His mother was murdered when he was a child, and his father put Ray into foster care. Much of the novel centers on Ray’s bitterness at being abandoned and his envy of Chris. Carew, a social worker at a provincial forensic psychiatric hospital, does a good job portraying the struggles of a mental health worker to maintain his own mental health. Fans of clinical mysteries will want to check this one out. (Sept.)