Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week. Feel free to grab the button & join in! Be sure to include a link to your post in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post!
This week’s featured book is Precious Blood by Jonathan Hayes:
Dr. Edward Jenner retired from his position as a New York City forensic pathologist after 9/11. He simply couldn’t get over the horrible trauma forced upon the city and began making mistakes on the job. He now serves as a private consultant and is called to work on the case of a horrible murder involving a brutal crucifixion of a college student after the victim’s roommate, Ana de Jong, shows up on his doorstep.
The killings increase, becoming more brutal each time. Each of the victims have ancient text carved into their flesh. The mode of their killings reflect the means of deaths of religious martyrs. While dealing with these crimes, Jenners is forced to deal the emotional trauma that still burns within his soul. Furthering Jenner’s frustrations is Steve Whittaker, deputy chief medical examiner, intent on making Jenner’s task a difficult one.
Precious Blood is Hayes debut novel. Hayes himself is a forensic pathologist, a Senior Medical Examiner in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the State of New York. His obvious knowledge of the forensic and medical field really adds substance to this novel. The main character, Jenner, is obviously quite flawed & emotionally damaged. This adds the story rather than detract from it. Flawed people are more believable, in my mind.
The storyline is quite intense; I particularly loved the rich details about the setting. The “villian” was bad; very bad. Others have likened him to Hannibal Lecter; I think he’s much darker and more devious. The history of the killer’s childhood at first pull at your heartstrings, eventually cause you to hate him even more.
The book does leave you hanging; some readers dislike wanting for more. I particularly enjoy it, especially since the book’s sequel, A Hard Death, was released earlier this month. Stay tuned for my review!
I highly recommend this book to fans of forensic thrillers, particularly fans of Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs.
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