A Matter of Blood: The Forgotten Gods: Book One
by Sarah Pinborough
Review by Steve Sawicki
Ace Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425258460
Date: 02 April 2013 List Price $16.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Cass Jones is an Inspector for the London Police with a pretty good record of solving cases. He's competent and together, at least in his public live. Behind closed doors things are beginning to fall apart.
Jones gets a case where two schoolboys have been killed in a gang hit gone wrong. At the same time it appears that a serial killer is beginning to make his presence known in the city, killing young women and leaving odd clues and little evidence. In the middle of it all, Cass's brother murders his own wife and son and the apparent evidence points to Jones as the killer.
While things around him swirl to an inevitable and negative conclusion, Jones finds a link between all three cases. As he begins to dig deeper forces begin to align against him. Soon, it's just Jones against a stack of evidence that is just too bizarre to believe, evidence that points way back to his own father and mother.
This book has a little bit of everything in it. It's an alternate London, it's a thriller with some dark horror aspects tossed in, and there's some fantasy working it's way around the edges as well. If I had to be definitive in my assessment I would say this is an alternate world mystery thriller. Regardless of the categorization, it's good.
Sarah Pinborough has managed to pull all the pieces together here and create likable characters that you want to know more about and follow along with, even though terrible things are happening all around them and to pretty much everyone they know. There also a presence that overshadows everything and which, I am guessing, will become more clear as the series continues on. Ah, yes, this is book one of The Forgotten Gods series.
I really enjoyed this book. And I am looking forward to seeing the next book in the series. I'm interested to see where Pinborough goes with this story. I recommend the book. It's got very good pacing and the plot is anything but straightforward although it does flow in a linear fashion. I'd have to say it's a dark, dismal look into the soul of a city that's decided that corruption is the stain that can't be wiped off. Interesting and engaging.