Thomas, David - 'Blood Relative'
Peter Crookham is the senior partner in a firm of architects and one evening he returns home from a hard day at his office to the sudden shock of finding that his younger brother's multiply stabbed body is lying on the floor of his sitting room. The room seems to be drenched in blood - there are smears on the walls and all over Peter's wife. His wife, Mariana, of East German origins is holding the blood-stained knife and is in a state of shock which reduces her to answering all Peter's questions in a mono-tonal German. Peter calls the police and they arrive and after some questioning they arrest Marina and she is remanded to a facility for the mentally ill. As the house is a crime scene, Peter, after questioning by the police, cannot return to his home but must stay at a hotel.
Peter just cannot understand what has happened. His wife does not appear to be who he thought she was. Her trial is imminent and on the existing evidence she will be found guilty. He decides to fly to Germany to investigate her past. What he finds there alters his view of both his wife and his brother. Peter visits Mariana's childhood home in the former East Berlin, but all he can glean is that Mariana's mysterious past is somehow linked to the then East German security service, the Stasi.
In this multifaceted story, interleaved between Peter's investigation, is a story of a man present in East Germany in the late 1970s. The book continues at a breakneck speed to its exciting conclusion.
David Thomas is a journalist and writer, who already has an ongoing thriller franchise under the name of 'Tom Cain', published in the UK by Transworld. BLOOD RELATIVE will be the first book under his real name incarnation. I thought it a incredibly gripping thriller from page one to its spellbinding finish, which is to be expected from the author of the 'Sam Carver' thrillers which I also enjoy. I hope he writes many more of these stand-alone thrillers as well as more under his 'Tom Cain' persona.
Terry Halligan, England