Monday, January 7, 2013

My take on: From Blood

I'm not quite sure where to start. From Blood by Edward Wright is very different from what I normally read. The brutal murder of Shannon Fairchild's parent leads her on a dangerous path of self-discovery. After the first couple of chapters I was expecting a totally different novel. There is a lot of mystery surrounding the murders, but as I read further it morphed into an examination of the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s.

Shannon is the family screw-up. She dropped out of a PhD program only to end cleaning homes of the wealthy. She owns the cleaning business, but you get the sense that there was an opportunity missed. Could she have achieved even greater success if she had stuck with the PhD program? Her sister Beth is a wife and mother, her parents don't have to worry about her. Would Shannon's parents worry a little bit less if she wasn't constantly getting into trouble? Something has always been off for Shannon. She can never put her finger on it. Childhood nightmares constantly haunt her, and she doesn't know why. Something in her past holds the key to her future.

The death of her parents forces Shannon to confront the past. Her parents were active protesters during the 60s, but they never resorted to violence like some of their friends. Diana Burke and John Paul West, two sought after fugitives, were best friends with Shannon's parents. Diana and John Paul are deep underground, but the authorities and some very dangerous enemies are after them. Shannon's parents were killed because they refused to give information about their whereabouts. Her mother's dying wish was for Shannon to find them and deliver a message. But soon I began to think was delivering the message really worth it? Even in death she wants to please her parents, but is it worth it to risk her life? She doesn't know who she can and can't trust. Everyone, including the FBI, has their own agenda. At first, her boyfriend TeeJay seems to be the only one without ulterior motives. She can tell him everything without worrying about his motives. I said "at first" because towards the end of the book there is a big twist. But you will have to read the book to know what I'm talking about.

What I'm about to say next could be considered a spoiler. So if you don't want to know, STOP reading.

Still here?

Good. Along the way Shannon discovers that Diana and John Paul are her birth parents. Does that really spoil the book? I don't think so because that little tidbit is revealed pretty early on. Shannon always knew something wasn't right. Did she turn out the way she did because of Diana and John Paul? What kind of people are they? Why did they give her up? Was there something wrong with Shannon that they didn't like? Wanting to know the answers provides Shannon with extra motivation in her task. If she learns about them, then Shannon will truly know herself. Diana and John Paul seemed like polar opposites. I wondered how they ever worked as a couple. John Paul has mellowed in his old age, and makes small gestures of protest. He wants to help the world without being discovered by the authorities. But as they went deeper underground, Diana embraced a harsher and more violent view of the world. In her youth, she was non-violent but when Shannon finally finds Diana she is ready to show the world she means business. Diana's grand plan is to cause destruction that will have impact across the world. It was intriguing to read how off the grid someone's mind can go. Diana sounded perfectly rational one minute, and completely wackadoo the next.

This was an intriguing read, but I did think it moved a little slow. I kept wondering where is this going to go. Once Shannon has delivered her message, what else is there? There was a lot more after she accomplished her mission. Everything seemed to wrap up a little too neatly, but the last several chapters were suspenseful.

Rating: Give it a try

Note: I received an e-book from the author's publicist in exchange for an honest review.

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