Book Review: Not By Blood by Chris Narozny

About the Book:

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When Tina Evans gets a call from her brother in the middle of the night, she doesn’t think much of it; she’s been fielding distress calls from Bill for the last twenty years, ever since the day their father killed their mother.

At first, this call seems just like all the others: Bill’s holed up in a Brooklyn drug den and needs her to come rescue him. But when Tina gets there, her brother’s nowhere to be found. Instead, she discovers the body of a private detective hidden in the junk heap out back. He’s been shot to death, and his gun is missing from its holster.

Tina’s about to dial 911 when she receives a three-letter text message from a number she doesn’t recognize: “Shh…”

Tina doesn’t believe in coincidence—the death of this detective and her brother’s disappearance must be related. But how? Could it be her father pulling the strings from his prison cell? And is she willing to risk her own freedom—and her life—to uncover the truth?

My Thoughts:

I received an ARC via NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books. The following is my honest review of the book.

Release Date: 18 Jul 2023.

Not By Blood is a thriller that follows Tina as she searches for her brother after receiving a call in the middle of the night. In addition to this, her husband meets with an accident and is in the hospital in a coma. Finally, she is forced to question everything she knows when she discovers the body of a private detective with whom her husband and even her brother might have been in contact.

Tina investigates the mystery surrounding her brother and husband while relying on her foster brother to help her out. She is also being threatened and as she tries to figure out what is going on, she is in a race against detectives of the police department whom she doesn’t trust. The author brings out the brother-sister dynamics and the dynamics of dysfunctional families quite well. Having grown up in a foster family, we also get a glimpse into Tina’s state of mind and her affection for her brother Bill. Secrets are kept for a long time and when they are revealed, the characters are forced to face the consequences of what has happened in the past.

As the story progresses, we are given glimpses into the past as we follow Tina, her brother Bill and her foster brother Paul. We also meet Tina’s father who is in prison and a few other characters who help move the story along. The character interactions are interesting in the story though some seem completely unrelated to the main plot. The story is easy to read and a little predictable by the middle. It was not as fantastic or gripping as I had hoped it would be, but I did enjoy the mystery in the plot and the twists at the end.

Overall this is a good debut psychological thriller by the author and I did enjoy reading it. This is a one-time read and will be enjoyed by fans of the genre!

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