Sunday 22 September 2019

Morecambe & Vice Blog tour: Blanket of Blood - Eileen Wharton

Morecambe & Vice, the North-West's crime-writing festival, is in its third year and this year Books on the Bright Side Publicity have organised an epic blog tour to showcase all of the brilliant authors taking part.  I am delighted to be partnered with Eileen Wharton, a fellow North-Easterner, and I am releasing my review of Blanket of Blood as part of the tour. 

Find out more about the festival and buy tickets from 

The body of a baby is found in the woods but all is not as it seems.

A twisted serial killer is targeting pregnant teenage girls.

DI Blood races against the clock to stop the most chilling murderer he’s ever hunted. His private life meanwhile threatens to distract him and derail his investigation.

Any mistake, any hesitation on his side, could cost another innocent life...

What did I think?

I have been raving about Eileen Wharton since reading her extremely funny book, The M Word, last year; I love Eileen's sense of humour and if you ever get the chance to go to an author event where she's appearing (Morecambe & Vice, perhaps?) you don't want to miss it.  I put on my serious head as I picked up her pre-The M Word book, Blanket of Blood, but really should have known that there would be some tea-spluttering laugh out loud moments in a thriller written by Eileen Wharton.

The prologue is pretty chilling as a young girl is abducted as she contemplates buying something literally 'off the back of lorry'.  I was plunged deeper into darkness in chapter one with the discovery of a baby's body in the woods and the introduction to DI Gary Blood.  I went from goosebumpy chills of the crime to choking laughter at Blood's circumstances on waking.  There it is!  Eileen Wharton's trademark humour; you just can't keep it down and I love it.  

What makes this book different from run-of-the-mill thrillers is, not just the humour, but the depth of character Eileen Wharton has created in Gary Blood.  DI Blood is one thing but family man Gary Blood is a whole different beast when emotions are added to the mix.  Gary has his own demons with his health, an ex-wife who doesn't want to leave, inappropriate feelings for his sister-in-law and his struggle to accept the lifestyle of his daughter.  With so much going on in his life, along with a stressful job, I'm surprised he wasn't found preparing to jump off the Tyne Bridge!

The story about the abduction of pregnant girls is chilly, scary and very clever as we get to see inside the mind of a killer and the scars that have been left there.  It's sobering to be reminded how our actions can affect others, especially impressionable children.  I'm not condoning the crime, but by showing the reader the reason behind it is very refreshing and clever of Eileen Wharton as it is rare to see the full picture in a book.

Blanket of Blood is superbly written with a cunning criminal, a seriously flawed detective, a dark, original murder method and lashings of dry humour to keep the reader grounded.  It's fast-paced, gripping, unique, amusing and very very highly recommended; I can guarantee that you won't have read anything like this before.  I do hope to see the return of DI Blood in the future.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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