Review: Bloodstream by Luca Veste

Monday 2 November 2015
Title: Bloodstream
Author: Luca Veste
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 22nd October 2015
Pages: 480
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
Social media stars Chloe Morrison and Joe Hooper seem to have it all - until their bodies are found following an anonymous phone call to their high-profile agent. Tied and bound to chairs facing each other, their violent deaths cause a media scrum to descend on Liverpool, with DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi assigned to the case.

Murphy is dismissive, but the media pressure intensifies when another couple is found in the same manner as the first. Only this time the killer has left a message. A link to a private video on the internet, and the words 'Nothing stays secret'. It quickly becomes clear that more people will die; that the killer believes secrets and lies within relationships should have deadly consequences...

Luca Veste quickly became one of my favourite crime authors after the release of Dead Gone and then The Dying Place and he is an author I am constantly recommending people read. Luca writes the sort of crime fiction I wish I could write, and sets it in the city where I was born and live, Liverpool. Liverpool is a brilliant city to set a crime novel in and Luca uses it to full effect (though the Wirral is mentioned more times than I would like *shudder*). On the one hand I read Jane Costello's Women's Fiction novels which are set in a completely different part of Liverpool than the one I know (the 'posh' part I call it), whereas Bloodstream opens up in a totally recognisable part of Liverpool, with the discovery of two dead bodies in a house in Anfield. The media soon descends on the area when the bodies are revealed as two social media superstars. It soon becomes clear a killer is at large and is forcing couples to reveal their secrets to each other before killing them.

One of our main characters is DI David Murphy and if I had to choose somebody to compare him with, I'd say Donnie Wahlberg's character in Blue Bloods, Danny Reagan. He definitely has that tenacity and, at times, anger displayed by Danny. Murphy certainly isn't somebody I would associate with or be friends with but I surprisingly found that I shared some character traits with him, namely the negative ones. Murphy views the area of Anfield a little differently to me though and was quite cynical about it at times. On the other hand I absolutely adore DS Laura Rossi and hope that we can see her playing an even larger role than she already does in subsequent novels. She's a real breath of fresh air, and a standout character in this genre. Both characters go through a lot in this novel, Murphy especially. I was particularly intrigued by the continuing story of his relationship with best friend Jess, as she blames him for the death of her son and their friendship has been in question since then. Murphy's wife also plays a larger role in the story and without revealing too much, there are some brilliant, heart-stopping scenes later in the story.

In terms of the main story itself I have to say that it did take me a little longer than I thought it would for Bloodstream to grip me, but I still had it read in no time and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have a couple of tactics when trying to work out who the killer is in a crime novel and perhaps the lesser used one of those tactics is to just pick a character early on and stick with them. I did that here and it paid off. That said, for me it was obviously only ever going to be between just a few characters and the one I originally guessed it might be just felt a little too convenient to be the killer. Still though there are some brilliant twists towards the end of the story and I was left hoping that the next Murphy and Rossi novel is not too far off. I've said it in previous reviews but each book from Luca offers something completely different whilst maintaining everything I have come to love about the series. I am excited to see what he writes next. If you are looking for original crime fiction, something that stands out and is different from everything else, then I definitely recommend picking up Luca Veste's books, and you now have three brilliant crime novels to devour. I have reviewed Dead Gone and The Dying Place here on the blog also.

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