Casey Kelleher

Bad Blood

""‘Bad Blood’ is very much in the style of Martina Cole." "


Harry Wood is a famous and admired boxer, known for his bloody determination and tough demeanour. Now retired, he has developed a family apparently glued together by an empire of drugs and prostitution. But things are changing. His beloved wife has died, his oldest son is trying to remove himself from the criminal world and his youngest daughter is unaware of the nature of the family business. His older daughter has left the family home and is separated from the good life by living with her useless husband and two children. The remaining son is a violent out of control bully. Happy families, then.

Slowly things begin to unwind and Harry, who is suffering from a terminal illness, finds it harder to keep everything under control. Extreme violence, unbearable cruelty and a few disclosed secrets keep the story racing along. There is love but also twisted hate. In the end there is resolution but not till after several bloody deaths.

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'Bad Blood' is very much in the style of Martina Cole. This book relates the story of an East End family, tied by the bonds of love and money, but not averse to violence and law-breaking to further their ends. There are some graphic descriptions of fights and murderous behaviour which Kelleher handles well, although some descriptions can be quite stomach churning for the most bloodthirsty amongst us. The overall plot is gripping and I definitely engaged with all the characters. My one problem with the book is that it is a bit episodic. There are good scenes but they did not always link together smoothly. There were one or two loose ends that I would have liked tied up. 'Bad Blood' certainly has the blood and guts of a Cole novel and should appeal to those who like her books. Definitely worth reading.

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