Thursday, 20 February 2014

Sister Reads | Review: In the Blood by Lisa Unger

Book: In the Blood

Author: Lisa Unger

Pages: 352

Time taken to Read: 4 hours

Plot Summary: Lana Granger, a senior in college, has a disturbed and violent childhood that she is desperate to put behind her and, which she keeps as a closely guarded secret. Lana's mother was violently killed and her father is serving time on the death row for that crime. Lana has some free time on her hands and so, her Student Adviser and Mentor- Langdon Lewes- suggests that she babysit a kid to get child psychology experience. That's what brings Lana to Luke Kahn- a highly intelligent eleven year old who displays all the signs of being a total sociopath.
Luke knows the secret that Lana has been hiding from the world and he enlists Lana to play a sinister game through which this closely held secret may just get exposed for the whole world to know.

What I Liked: The basic premise of the book is very gripping. There is a girl with secrets and a sociopath kid who is keen to manipulate her and reveal those secrets- very interesting. I don't know about you, but I find sociopaths fascinating- in a very I-don't-want-to-meet-one-but-I-do-enjoy-reading-about-them way. Parallel to Lana's story, we also get to see glimpses of the life of a new mother who is struggling with a very difficult son. Who this woman is and who her son is are not revealed up until the very end. So, these two stories are quite interesting and keeps you guessing.
Apart from these two mysteries, so to speak, there is also the question of Lana's best friend- Beck- who has gone missing. Lana was the last person to see her, right after the two had a fight in the library. As Luke's game threatens to reveal Lana's secret, Lana's life further unravels as she is a 'person of interest' in Beck's disappearance.
The characters are well-etched for a mystery book and it is easy to link who they are with what they do, which is great when you try to guess who the 'bad guy/s' is/are.

What I Didn't Like: The main mysteries of the book were very guessable. Now, I don't know if it was just me- I read and watch a LOT of crime fiction/shows- or if this was true for everyone else. A quick peek at Good Reads tells me that this was not the case for most reviewers and that they were surprised by the 'twist' in the end. So, that's good then! :)
Also, there were a couple of elements that were way too convenient. I can't mention them here because they are spoilers but the odds of those things happening to the same person/family is just ridiculously astronomical! I am being a bit nit-picky because the author does do a good job of explaining everything really well, but still...

Would You Like It?: Yes. If you enjoy fast-paced mystery books that are well written and keep you guessing, then this is a book that you will enjoy.

Rating: 3.5/5 

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