Blood Kin

Matt Hilton. Severn, $28.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-9096-2
Early in Hilton’s so-so eighth thriller featuring Portland, Maine, PI Tess Grey and her significant other, ex-con Po Villere (after 2020’s Collision Course), Po spots Elspeth Fuchs, someone he hasn’t seen in over a decade, and the only woman he considered settling down with besides Tess. Elspeth is accompanied by a 10-year-old boy, Jacob, whom Po believes looks like him, leading him to wonder whether the child is his. That possibility leads Tess to question Po’s commitment to her, but the couple soon become involved in trying to protect Elspeth, who’s hiding from her abusive ex-husband, Caleb Moorcock, a member of a strict commune run by his villainous father. (Elspeth also doesn’t confirm Po’s suspicions about Jacob.) Inevitably, Caleb tracks Elspeth down, setting up an overlong rescue sequence in which a water bottle plays an unlikely role. Ungainly prose (“There was probably little rationality for Elspeth in choosing her direction of travel”) takes readers out of the moment, and contrivances, such as an armory that’s conveniently accessible to one of the good guys, detract from the suspense. Those already invested in Tess and Po will best appreciate this one. Agent: Luigi Bonomi, LBA Assoc. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/14/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-78029-795-8
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