Review: Blood Always Tells by Hilary Davidson

April 10, 2014 Forge Books, Mystery/Suspense, Review 2

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (April 15, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0765333546
  • Source: Publisher

Dominique Monaghan is involved with a married man. Gary Cowan is a former boxer with a history of sketchy behavior. She knows his marriage to socialite Trin Lytton-Jones is a farce and comes up with an elaborate plan to drug him so she can get him to admit it on tape. Instead she gets mixed up in a kidnapping scheme, trapped in an isolated home with no means of escaping. Out of desperation, she calls upon the only person upon which she can truly depend: her brother Desmond.

Desmond has played the role of father to Dominique since their mother was convicted of killing their father many years ago. Desmond is used to Dominique’s out of control behavior,  yet this time something in her voices raises a red flag and he rushes to her rescue.

Upon arriving, Desmond is met with a completely unexpected scene. In order to find out what happened to his sister, he must wade through the deception surrounding Cowan and his marriage. In doing so, he uncovers a slew of lies and attempted murders, all in the name of family fortune.  This situation also forces Desmond to reflect upon his past and sacrifices made to protect  him and his sister.

Blood Always Tells is Davidson’s first standalone novel. As a fan of her previous novels (The Damage Done, The Next One To Fall, and Evil in all its Disguises) and her short story collection, The Black Widow Club, I can honestly say that this novel is her best ever. It is quite a feat to state this because her work is so tremendous; she excels at taking her readers through a labyrinth of plot twists and turns, all ending in a completely surprising conclusion. 

This is replicated in Blood Always Tells.  At the onset of the novel, the reader assumes Dominique will be the main protagonist. Instead, out of the blue, comes her brother Desmond to take over in this role. I was taken aback initially but was genuinely enraptured by Desmond’s character.

A former army chopper pilot, Desmond has carried the weight of family secrets for many years. He has great feelings of guilt and remorse for what transpired. Instead of allowing it to get him down, he does his best to be the most supportive big brother Dominique can have. Unfortunately, the passage of time does nothing to alleviate these feelings of guilt and they weigh heavily on him, even now, decades later.

Davidson used Desmond’s character as a counter-weight against another family with a less than typically family life. Desmond shines through as a bright light what could have potentially been a dark and chilling storyline.  That’s not to say he doesn’t have his faults; he has plenty. It is the integrity of his character that allows him to rise up and overcome his difficult past. Characters like this are a characteristic of Davidson’s writing; in each she takes you on a wild journey, introducing you to the worst members of society with that one character that serves as a ray of hope amidst all the chaos and depravity.

Honestly, my raves about this novel could go on and on.  There are so many facets of  it that I found outstanding, from the character development to the webs of deceit.  I intentionally strung out my read of this novel for I simply didn’t want it to end.  This is a must read of fans of mystery/thrillers with strongly developed characters, prepared to embark upon a thrill ride of a read. Highly, highly recommended!

Note: I do consider the author to be a good friend of mine. I, among many, many others, are thanked in her acknowledgements. That said, this in no way influenced my review of this book.


2 Responses to “Review: Blood Always Tells by Hilary Davidson”

  1. Richard Kennedy

    Thank you for yet another review of an author, Hilary Davidson, that we might not have found, left to our own devices. Time after time you’ve offer up reviews describing new authors work that we’ve come to really enjoy. For all that you do, as avid readers we are deeply appreciative. Thank you.
    Dick and Jane Kennedy