50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Rachael, a partner in an accounting firm and Daniel Stroeb, a college professor, are murdered in their Miami Beach home leaving their two children, Jeremy and Elise, alone. Jeremy is a college dropout roaming around Europe and Elise is a teenager who has been severely traumatized by finding her parents after their murder. Now, Jeremy must return home to take care of his sister but finds it difficult to change his self centered ways. Jeremy soon decides to try to find out who his parents really were and who would want to kill them. But as he discovers, there are many possibilities and he has no idea who he can trust.
Ms. Potts has woven a very readable murder mystery that will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat till the very end with this tale of a family in crisis and a young man who must grow up quickly. The story is told from Jeremy's point of view so his character is developed along with his parents as he searches for the truth. After reading Ms. Potts' biography, I feel the author has accomplished her goal of writing the story that has been brewing with a lifetime of family stories, mysteries and childhood fears while growing up in New York. And on a personal note, I am always fascinated to find how the title of books ties in to the story. I found that this title is actually a little deceptive but you will have to read the book to find out what I mean.
I would recommend this book for high school age and above readers that love a good mystery. This book is not a hard core murder-horror story, but an enjoyable mystery with an excellent rhythm and good character development that will appeal to all ages.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
D. Merrimon Crawford
- Published on Amazon.com
Jeremy Stroeb doesn't take the demands of college very seriously. Loving freedom more than responsibility, he drops out and takes off backpacking across Europe. When his parents are brutally murdered, his former life comes crashing to an end. As he returns to Miami Beach to take guardianship of his sister Elise, Jeremy also sets out to discover the identity of his parents murderer. When the police don't seem to be coming up with any answers, Jeremy takes a job at the accounting firm where his mother was a star CPA. Could the answer to the crime be found there or maybe his father's controversial politics concerning Cuba sparked some kind of battle behind the scenes? Even his uncle's eager willingness to take over the role of guardianship seems suspect. Or did the threat come from another secretive area of his parents' life? How well did he truly know his parents? Forced to take on the responsibilities he once spurned, will Jeremy be able to see the case through or will his youth lead him into a clever trap set by the unknown villain?
In her powerful debut thriller IN THEIR BLOOD, Sharon Potts creates an intriguing main character in Jeremy Stroeb. Not only is he a refreshing change from the run-of-the-mill thriller sleuths, but his flaws and momentary difficulties make him human. Sharon Potts does an excellent job at interweaving emotion with suspense as Jeremy and his sister deal with the trauma and grief of their parents' murder. Indeed, the tone of grief that drives the first part gives this thriller its distinctive style, drawing the reader into the story and the main characters, making the family itself not just secondary faceless victims but active participants in this thriller. Jeremy and his sister grow throughout the story as they are faced with the horror of their parents' murder and the absence of their parents from their lives. Elise, the daughter adds emotional and psychological suspense to the story as she seeks to stand up for herself and come face to face with her fears. Several twists and quick but forboding details ramp up the suspense when one least expects it.
Despite the emotional depth of this thriller, the fast-paced plot and fluidity of the writing style make IN THEIR BLOOD a fast-paced read. Just when one thinks s/he might be able to go to sleep for the night and return to the book the next day, a new scene or wrinkle to the case drives the reader deeper into the story. Perhaps, the ending could have been drawn out or focused on more details of the scene to heighten the suspense and spine-tingling drama as the danger mounts. Perhaps a few of the suspects could have been more finely developed or the suspense threads more finely interwoven but nevertheless, IN THEIR BLOOD demonstrates the author's ability to add a new perspective to the thriller genre. Although this novel lacks the polished seamless interweaving of the suspense web throughout, this reader felt compelled by the story itself and the emotional landscape of the characters even more than other more polished interwoven suspense novels. I simply could not put the book down until the last page and still, upon finishing it, find it haunting. This reader thoroughly enjoyed the story for its emotional depth and how IN THEIR BLOOD distinguishes itself from the typical expectations of the thriller genre by adding emotion and character growth to suspense rather than an intricate search for minute crime details. A very nice change of pace!
IN THEIR BLOOD is highly recommended for suspense lovers looking for a unique voice and a thriller with a distinctiveness all its own. IN THEIR BLOOD may not have the pre-fab style of the more formulaic thrillers out there, but rather it is best read by those wanting to discover something new and different. Sharon Potts is clearly a talented author with her compelling debut novel marking her as an author for suspense lovers to watch. As both thriller and coming-of-age story, IN THEIR BLOOD is a powerful genre blend that takes the reader into the heart of crime as it affects those left behind.
COURTESY OF BOOK ILLUMINATIONS
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Loves to Read
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The preview of this book showed signs of just the type of "whodunit" I enjoy. It had mostly 5-star reviews. So why did I say "could have been?" After really getting into the story from the beginning, I was so disgusted to see, first a few sprinkling of the F bomb. I tried to ignore them but then the really explicit sex scenes...which had absolutely nothing to do with any murders. Then the F bombs got more frequent...the sex scenes more often. Finally, because I wanted to know "if the butler really did it" I skipped to the last chapter. I do wish Amazon would label books like movies. I do not understand why seemingly great authors write a great novel then it appears they go back and see where they can insert the F Bomb. A really good writer should be able to come up with an adjective or exclamation without having to use profanity. A really good writer does not have to insert explicit sex scenes that have nothing to do with the story they are writing to keep the story interesting.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
One day Jeremy Stroeb is an irresponsible, rich kid college drop out backpacking through Europe; the next he is a shattered young man who has just learned that his parents have been murdered in their bed by a mystery assailant. Crushed with grief, he returns to Miami Beach to try to comfort his traumatized sixteen year old sister, and to come to grips with the terrifying aloneness that now defines their existence.
The police are making no progress in identifying the killer. Despite his near crippling despair, Jeremy must do something. Unavoidably this will entail digging into his parents' past, dirt and all, as it turns out. Neither his university professor father nor his business executive mother, partner in a large CPA firm, are the people he assumed they were. Deeply disturbing as his findings are, he continues his investigation unswervingly, ratcheting up the danger to both himself and his sister with each discovery that takes him closer to the truth.
Going back and forth between confusion, resolve, and anger, Jeremy pries out one secret after another about the beautifully portrayed characters who peopled his parents' lives, one of whom is the murderer. While searching for answers Jeremy eventually gets a clear image of life's big picture, what really counts, and how in the end we are all human.
This book is all about plot and people, in equal potent measure. It is a fantastic, fast-paced read all the way up to the stunning climax. I was left with a rare dose of total satisfaction.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I was very disappointed with this book. Even though the writing was good, the story is much dragged out and exhausting. There are many pages describing just ordinary day to day life with nothing much happening. There are many promises, many "may be" moments, but they all turn out to be just boring detours. After reading so many wonderful comments I was very excited to give this book ago. I am wondering if perhaps I did not understand some key elements, or the story was just totally lost on me, because obviously so many people liked the book. Sorry, it was not for me.
Key elements, which were completely amiss for me (possible spoilers):
1) Rachel, one of the victims, is a middle aged woman with a husband and two grown children, and yet, several very powerful men go completely mad over her. Not a modern day reality I would say. Felt a little farfetched, perhaps because the character of Rachel is not developed well, it is hard for a reader to see what was so remarkable about her to cause so much drama (besides her emerald green eyes).
2) The main character's anger and self pity becomes aggravating after a few pages. In the face of such tragedy and trauma as the murder of his parents, Jeremy becomes totally wrapped up in his affair with his father's assistant. I understand that youth can be blind and selfish sometimes, but he is in his twenties already ,and his moodiness, his lack of self control and commitment and his complete irresponsibility makes it hard to like him (although, in some chapters he is described as a "beautiful man").
3) Everybody seems to forget about the sixteen year old daughter of the murdered parents. She is on her own most of the time, left unattended in the house where the crime was committed. Nobody seems to care about her well being. She is left wondering around lonely and alone, surviving this terrible tragedy.
4) Police is stupid as always. There is a multimillion dollar money laundering scam and a couple of high profile murders, but police has no clue about anything. They are the last to arrive at the scene as always (so predictable!)
5) The words "perspire" and "perspiration" are grossly overused. Would it be too bad to use "sweaty" and "sweat" once in a while?
6) And the most disturbing - the sexual descriptions make you want to go and wash your hands. Sweat drenched coupling among stale cigarette smoke, filth and "rabbit gravy" made me repulsed. I guess it depends on preference, but this was in my opinion the lowest low of the book.
Please don't be outraged with my review. It's only an opinion of one person. If you liked the book you are certainly welcome to say so. I am simply saying that I did not like it.