Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bad blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Bad blood is the fourth book in The naturals series so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** if you have not read the first books in the series.  This is one series where you really need to read the books in order so make sure you read The naturalsKiller instinct and All in before you read Bad blood.

Life is never straight forward for Cassie Hobbes and the other members of the Naturals programme.  Their natural talents make them assets for the FBI, but because of the very nature of their programme they are forced to work under the radar and keep secrets from the people around them.  In many respects Cassie has had it easy compared to the rest of the Naturals but that is starting to change, as the serial killer society they have unwittingly been hunting has plans for Cassie and her friends.  

It all starts with a high profile missing person case that Michael's father decides to use as an excuse to get Michael to visit - just days before he turns eighteen and can legally cut all ties with his family.  It also starts when Cassie visits Dean's father in prison and leaves her vulnerable to his careful manipulations and carefully sown doubts - a bad place to be for a profiler of any age.  A perfect storm is brewing, one that will bring the Naturals head-to-head with a group of killers that will stop at nothing to keep their legacy alive for generations to come.

When I started reading Bad blood I didn't realise that it was the last book in the series which was kind of nice - it meant I didn't go into the book with any real expectations.  What I got was another excellent thriller about a group of young people who tackle cases that would leave adults baffled.  There have been little secrets and little hidden messages throughout the series, and with this final book those secrets are revealed and the little messages finally make some sense.  

Moving parallel to the crime/thriller/mystery aspect of the story is the human story, aspects of the past that have made all the characters who they are (love them or loath them).  As the story unfolds we come to understand more about Michael and his childhood, and Lia and her childhood - cookie crumbs that help round them out further from cliche to relateable and human.  There are some hard hitting emotional moments, and there are some thrilling/edge of your seat moments.  This has been an excellent series and is one that deserves to be discovered and read by teenagers and adults alike.  Barnes has an amazing understanding of human nature and the criminal behaviour which creates a thoroughly believable world that sucks you in and doesn't spit you out again until the ride is over.

If you like this book then try:
  • I hunt killers by Barry Lyga
  • Acceleration by Graham McNamee
  • Hate list by Jennifer Brown
  • Guy Langman, crime scene procrastinator by Josh Berk
  • A girl named Digit by Annabel Monahgan
  • The Christopher killer by Alane Ferguson
  • Nickel plated by Aric Davis
  • Dead to you by Lisa McMann
  • Crime seen by Jenny Pausacker
  • Burning blue by Paul Griffin
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Such a pretty girl by Laura Wiess
  • Living dead girl by Elizabeth Scott

Reviewed by Brilla

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