Blood Loss by Kerena Swan
With one eye on the rear view mirror and the other on the road ahead, Sarah is desperate to get as far away from the remote Scottish cabin as she can without attracting attention. But being inconspicuous isn’t easy with a black eye and clothes soaked in blood…
… and now the fuel tank is empty.
When a body is discovered in a remote cabin in Scotland, DI Paton feels a pang of guilt as he wonders if this is the career break he has been waiting for. But the victim is unidentifiable and the killer has left few clues.
With the death of her father and her mother’s failing health, Jenna accepts her future plans must change but nothing can prepare her for the trauma yet to come.
Fleeing south to rebuild her life Sarah uncovers long-hidden family secrets. Determined to get back what she believes is rightfully hers, Sarah thinks her future looks brighter. But Paton is still pursuing her…
… and he’s getting closer.
Kerena Swan’s brilliant novel explores how honest mistakes and human frailty can have terrifying and long-reaching consequences. It’s a tale of family ties and loyalty, revenge and redemption that you won’t want to put down.
Kerena Swan’s novel, ‘Blood Loss’ is something of a strange beast. To be honest, it sort of shouldn’t work.
It has a narrative split between Sarah, a woman from a difficult background fleeing a traumatic incident, Jenna, a trustafarian with a ghastly sister and DI Paton, a man who has more on his plate than most – a son with Downs Syndrome, a wife with cripplingly depression rendering her a ghost-like figure and an extreme aversion to blood which would make Inspector Morse blush.
That narrative is further fragmented as it jumps in time as well as perspective – the sort of trick which can make reviewers gnash their teeth – you have to have a bloody good reason to ask a reader to want to leap between people, place and time as it can leave your head spinning.
Also, Swan does not do the usual crime writer thing of making the place a character. She has a detective based in Perth – a heartbreakingly pretty, oft-overlooked gem of a small city – and doesn’t really describe the location surrounding it at all: except to say it’s in the highlands. Which it isn’t.
Another writer might have had fun contrasting this semi-rural gem with one of the other locations which is also famous for how it looks… Milton Keynes. Swan does not.
But, do you know what? In a novel as well written as this, it just doesn’t matter. Swan’s goal is to sweep you along and make you want to find out more – how will the murder be solved? Can the relationship between the sisters be healed? Will Sarah be able to make different choices from her Mum rather than be doomed to repeat the cycle?
All of which she does with aplomb. Crime fiction can be leaden with poor dialogue and this is a noteable exception. The characters have individual voices, clear motivations and emotionally resonant wants and needs.
‘Blood Loss’ is a pacey read, skilfully handled by a writer of real breadth, ambition and talent and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
Blood Loss will be just 99p for a limited time only!
About Kerena Swan
We are thrilled to be introducing DI Dave Paton and his son Tommy, the stars of the first novel in Kerena Swan’s new series, to the world. Before coming to Hobeck, Kerena had published three novels, Dying To See You, Scared to Breathe and Who’s There? and has built a solid fan base around her writing career thus far. She is a juggler extraordinaire: driving forward a successful care business she runs with her husband yet finding time to write. She loves to write, here and there and everywhere when she’s not working. We don’t know how she does it but we are glad that she does! Kerena talks about her writing, her influences and how she came to Hobeck in this video.
Social Media Links
Facebook : @kerenaswan · Author