I reviewed Blood-Tied by Wendy Percival at the start of the year. The novel introduces family history researcher Esme Quentin in a thriller based on murder and family secrets. I'm posting my review again in case you missed it first time round because a new Esme Quentin novel (The Indelible Stain) is available for pre-order now with release date scheduled for a few days time.
Two sisters are very close until one learns that the other has a secret past. Unable to get answers from Elizabeth because she is in a coma, Esme sets out on a search for the truth aided by her best friend Lucy.
What makes Blood-Tied really enjoyable are the special circumstances in which the novel is placed. Esme is a researcher with a passion for family history and Lucy works at the County Records Office and is a professional archivist.
Anyone who has an enthusiasm for family history can't help but love this book. Meticulous detail combined with a cleverly constructed plot provides the reader with a completely fresh take on a traditional mystery tale.
Author Wendy Percival uses her knowledge of history, genealogy and research methods to give this novel a great feeling of authenticity in both the family story that is at the heart of the plot and Esme and Lucy's efforts to unravel it.
A cast of well-drawn, interesting characters lead the reader through a complex story with its roots in the past and its consequences right up to the present day. A tangle of family relationships is revealed between siblings; parents and children; grandparents and off-spring; aunts, uncles and cousins; in-laws and out-laws; husbands and wives. Add to the mix nannies, housemaids, gardeners, police officers, architects, neighbours and friends: all helping to confuse and illuminate sometimes at the same time.
Highly readable with a clear, direct, no-nonsense style; good pace; interesting and unexpected twists and turns and a very satisfying ending: Blood-Tied is a really good read and highly recommended.