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Blood Harvest by S. J. Bolton

Blood Harvest is S.J. Bolton's third release; she has another upcoming but just when it's coming out in the UK and then how long it takes to get to the States, I don't yet know. I haven't investigated that yet (and believe me I will...), but I have discovered her blog in which there are hints about the upcoming book and upcoming, possibly returning, characters. I can't wait. It'll be hard, but I'll survive. I just started Karin Slaughter's latest release, and I'm still waiting (somewhat apprehensively I might add) for Tess Gerritsen's newest title to come in on reserve.

Blood Harvest differs slightly from her previous titles, Sacrifice and Awakening, in that it has a third person narrator as opposed to a first person narrator. There are similarities, though; for example, one of main characters suffers from a physical handicap that leads to insecurity or reclusion, but since it's a third person narrator the reader doesn't have as much of a window into the character's inner life and how it effects them as in previous books. There's also the recurrence of encounters with another nasty gang of youths which are highly anxiety inducing for character and reader both.

Harry is the new vicar assigned to the local parish; Evi, a psychiatrist, is still coming to terms with a damaged sciatic nerve that's painful and detrimental to her mobility; Gillian, a grieving mother who uses alcohol to cope, has just started treatment with Evi.

The Fletcher family has just moved to tiny Heptonclough where small children have disappeared in the past decade. The family's young children have attracted the attentions of some mysterious, possibly supernatural, probably malevolent, being connected to the village's history and pagan tradition. Soon it becomes clear that the Fletcher children are being targeted by a far more dangerous, as yet unknown, human individual; then two Fletcher children disappear.

Soon the story takes a turn from the pagan traditions the town still keeps to shed light on the dark blackness at the center of the town. Before long it becomes clear that if both the Fletcher parents and the police are to solve the mystery of who's been targeting children and find the missing Fletchers before it's too late, Evi and Harry must pool their resources and share with each other what they know of the town's history to form a more complete picture of what's going down. The search for the missing children is the beginning of a breath holding, heart pounding, page turning, terrifying ride to the shockingly twisted and disturbed conclusion from which no one will emerge unscathed.

You won't be able to put this book down once the mystery gets cranked up to full, thrilling capacity. This being the most recent Bolton release, it'll be a long wait until May 2011 when the next is currently scheduled for release in the UK; unfortunately, its US release usually comes a few months after that. [In the couple days between beginning this post and finishing it, I went to the author's website to find more information about the upcoming novel.] Luckily, there's a preview of the prologue for Now You See Me posted; if the rest of the book is any reflection of the posted preview it will be another thrilling, fast read. But only read it your peril--the mystery's jumpstarted pretty much from the first sentence. You can visit S.J. Bolton online here.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


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