Author: Jordanna East
Title: Blood In The Paint
Genre: MF Thriller Baby!
‘Jillian Atford is a successful psychologist with a lavish office in Center City Philadelphia…
Lyla Kyle, an accomplished artist, lives a rather quiet life–except for nights when she lures married men into her tangled web and murders them, all in a never-ending quest to avenge her mother…
Jason Brighthouse Jr. is a young Philadelphia police officer who lives in his father’s shadow and is troubled by the constant ridicule that surrounds his ambition…’
Well fuck! I don’t normally swear – I leave that for Raven – but this book made me cry just a tiny bit. And not for the reasons you think. Here we go.
I love this cover. Clear, no nonsense font, clever use of the syringe to make the letter ‘I’, the face in the background, the can of paint. There’s a lot of information about the book before you even open it up and that is a difficult thing to do.
I guess my only nitpick is that if I didn’t know what I was getting I wouldn’t immediately think ‘thriller’ from the cover. Then again… I’m a little bored of black with red blood splatters, or sinister men in hats lurking in the shadows beneath a street lamp. So the fact that this is something fresh stops me docking the half star I considered.
Very nice indeed.
Picking up ten years after the events of Blood In The Past (a prequel novella you don’t have to read but I highly suggest you do!) Lyla, Brighthouse and Jillian have moved on with their lives. All three in extremely different ways, but in a manner that isn’t at all hackneyed or clichéd.
A novel which opens the head of a serial killer, dumps you inside, and locks you there with her. In the dark. Listening to her thoughts. empathising with her, despite the fact that she has done (and continues to do) really horrific things.
There are no slow bits in this novel. Enough space for me to catch my breath, wipe my brow, say ‘phew’ and then the next shocker slaps me to my arse. There were some quite genuine moments (while reading) of ‘oh my God,’ ‘wait you can’t do that’ and ‘no… no.. nooooooooooooooooooo!’ Fortunately my partner knows I’m a bit nutty so didn’t question me when he realised I had the Kindle in my hand.
As this is the first in a series you expect a cliff hanger and it doesn’t disappoint. The stage is neatly set for the next in the series without leaving you feeling cheated, confused or at a loose end. Another skill.
I simultaneously love and hate Lyla. I want to hug her and pet her on the head, followed quickly by a sharp punch and a kick in the teeth. It’s very confusing. Brighthouse had me waving pom poms and throwing confetti the second he started talking and Jillian balanced it all with a blend of frustration and pity for me. Three whole, incredibly real and believable people with problems that pull them apart then slam them together over and over,giving off plenty of sparks as a result.
Some of the surrounding characters weren’t quite so fleshy, but they didn’t need to be as far as I’m concerned. They did the role of a support character perfectly and did so without being forced or shoehorned into where they needed to be.
Finely edited, excellently formatted, the only excuse I have for putting this book down (the few times I did) was that I needed sleep or to do my own damn work.
Average across all scores comes to 4.75 stars.
Yeah, that’s five stars. I don’t give those out very often using the system, but it’s well deserved in this case.
If you’re unsure if I mean it, let me put it this way…. At one point while reading I uploaded this update to Facebook:
Not to garner pity or anything like that, but mainly to acknowledge that what was bothering while editing that day wasn’t my problems with the chapter, but the fact that my confidence was shot to all hell by the fantastic piece I was reading. Never mind that I do fantasy and that this is a thriller… my brain needed a rest that day. *shrugs*
Part of me wants to dock a star for that rotten feeling :P but obviously I won’t. I can’t fault the book and I’m looking forward to the next. That’s it. Five stars.