17 January 2016

Review: THE BLOOD STRAND, Chris Ould

  • File Size: 1989 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages, also available for Kindle
  • Publisher: Titan Books (February 16, 2016)
  • Publication Date: February 16, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0198VHPMC
  • Source: e-ARC from publicist 
Synopsis (Amazon)

Having left the Faroes as a child, Jan Reyna is now a British police detective, and the Islands are foreign to him. But he is drawn back when his estranged father is found unconscious, a shotgun by his side and someone else’s blood in his car. Then a man’s body is found, a shotgun wound in his side, but signs that he was suffocated. Is his father responsible for the man’s death? Jan must decide whether to stay or forsake the Faroe Islands for good,

My Take

Chris Ould's previous outings as a screen writer and author of YA crime fiction titles means that he has brought a polished style to THE BLOOD STRAND which promises to be the beginning of a trilogy, even perhaps a series.

Faroes-born Jan Reyna comes back to the Faroes from England because his father has been shot and seems to be dying. His adoptive parents encourage him to attempt one last reconciliation. Inevitably his policeman's detective brain kicks in and he realises there are mysteries to be solved. He meets up with his half-brothers, one of whom is very hostile, the other very friendly, and so he decides to approach the police to see what they have found out. This leads to him teaming up with local policeman Hjalti Hentze, in an unofficial way, becoming part of the investigative team. At first he is treated by Hentze's boss as a suspect, but then it becomes clear that he could really have had nothing to do with the original incident. Faroese police procedures are a little different to British ones and so he looks at the crimes scenes with different eyes.

As the book progresses we learn little snippets of Reyna's background but the author keeps us constantly hungry for more.

As I usually do, I weighed the clues up, and came up with a workable scenario which led to the shooting of Jan's father and then explained the subsequent chain of action. But I was wrong!

I very much enjoyed the unique setting of the novel  too.

Jan Reyna and Hjalti Hentze make an interesting and effective team and I look forward to meeting them again in

THE KILLING BAY due to be published Feb 2017
THE FIRE PIT dues to be published Feb 2018.

About the author
Chris was first published as a novelist for adults before being seduced by the murky world of television. Since then he has written more than eighty hours of TV drama and documentaries including Soldier Soldier, Casualty, Hornblower and many episodes of The Bill, one of which won a BAFTA in 2009.

Chris's first novel in a series for young adults, Street Duty: Knock-Down was published by Usborne in 2012 and  the second book in the series, The Killing Street was published in June 2013.

Chris is married and lives in Dorset with his wife and son.

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