IN THE BLOOD - Steve Robinson
That’s three of my favourite words in the same phrase; two of my preferred genres of literature with a genealogical angle thrown in for good measure. No wonder I was curious about this debut novel by Steve Robinson - and it didn’t disappoint.
‘In the Blood’ is a strong thriller with an unlikely hero (American genealogist Jefferson Tayte.) Revelation after revelation is dripped onto the pages before the novel reaches a dramatic climax I did not anticipate.
It is also a fascinating historical mystery which starts with a missing family. We all know the maxim that killers need to keep on killing to hide their crime; well, two hundred years later the descendants of the killers are still killing. It’s in the blood. I applaud Robinson’s ability to hold onto the many plot threads of this complicated novel which spans two centuries. He grasps them with the same tenacity his Cornish character Laity clings onto a life-saving fishing line.
Tayte himself is a likeable hero. Ostensibly, a chubby desk-bound workaholic, he manages to switch into action hero guise when the going gets tough. He dodges more assassination attempts than the Pope as he gradually uncovers the truth about the tragic Fairbornes. Tayte’s like a chef peeling back the layers of an onion beneath a volley of kitchen knives. 'Family History was never supposed to be like this' says Tayte. And it usually isn’t. Robinson has admirably succeeded in sexing-up a sedentary occupation enjoyed by millions and in the process has created a whole new genre: genealogical crime mysteries.
Good luck to him with the rest of the series.
'In the Blood' on amazon