A Measure of Blood: A Richard Christie Novel. Kathleen George. MysteriousPress.com/Open Road. January 2014. 400 pp. ISBN#: 9781480445606.
Matt is a young boy who has seen what no child should ever have to see, the death of his mother by murder. He’s now obsessed with who killed her and who is his father. There are no other living relatives and so it’s a toss of the dice whether Matt will be taken into the custody of Child Protective Services or whether a nearby couple, who have long yearned for an adopted child, will temporarily take Matt in as a foster child. Richard Christie’s heart is tied up in this case as he searches for the murderer, tries to do the best for Matt, and remembers the fact that he has no idea where his own father is.
Matt has a great memory and little by little remembers the conversation or argument between the man who was with his mother right before she died and the type of car that the man was leaning on. He’s very much into computers and video games, and they are his sole consolation for a while at least. But then Matt overhears other conversations and learns that the police know who his real father is, and he wonders why his father wouldn’t want to know or be connected with him. It’s almost too much to handle! His search becomes an obsession!
Meanwhile, another man believes Matt is his son and gradually also becomes obsessed with getting to know him and have a father-son relationship. To say more would be to spoil the plot replete with multiple twists and turns. The reader knows who each character really is but in no way can predict what will happen as two men vie for possession of Matt as a son, a couple gets to be loving parents, and some relationships become confused and then clarified among the detectives trying to solve this crime and another crime to follow.
Kathleen George has crafted a heart-rending mystery or crime story that has the reader rooting for Matt and some other characters at every turn of the pages. There’s no repetition in this novel which so often spoils a good story and the characters are unusually engaged in the outcome for this grieving, confused child! While there are some background pieces told throughout the tale, there’s no overdose of psychology or psychiatry which adds even more to the credibility of the guy who has caused all this mayhem. Finely done, Kathleen George!!!