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In Their Blood: A Novel Paperback – Feb 7 2011
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About the Author
Sharon Potts a native of New York, graduated from New York's University's Stern School of Business. Before migrating to Miami, Potts worked in public accounting. In Miami, Potts served as a managing director of an International staffing company and president of an executive search/accounting recruitment firm. Sharon is the award-winning, critically acclaimed author of In Their Blood, Someone's Watching, and now The Devil's Madonna. Potts lives in Miami Beach with her husband, Joe.
Top Customer Reviews
Back in Miami he tries to understand the seemingly senseless murder. He is devoted to his younger sister and wants to assume guardianship of her, though he feels unequal to the task and doubts his own abilities. She has been deeply traumatized by the murders of her parents and feels vulnerable. He enrolls in the university where his father taught, and gets a job at the accounting firm where his mother worked in the hopes that he might find out what motivated the crime against his parents.
He enlists the aid of his father's attractive graduate assistant. Together they attempt to piece together some sort of scenario leading up to the murders. One thing leads to another and they begin a torrid affair. The vast amount of time Jeremy spends with Marina places his guardianship of his sister Elise in a precarious position. His unlikable uncle Dwight maintains that Jeremy is not responsible and tries to assume guardianship of Elise for reasons that are less than altruistic.
As Jeremy eventually discovers more and more about his parents' lives, he comes to realize that he knew very little of their private affairs and their experiences when they were younger. Jeremy's life and the lives of those he loves are placed in jeopardy when he comes close to discovering the identity of the murderer. The suspense is turned up to high with an exciting plot climax worthy of what Hollywood has to offer.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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
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.
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.