Spilled Blood by Brian Freeman

I finished this last night just in the nick of time for this morning’s mystery book group.  I started off not caring for it, and then was caught up in the mystery/suspense which was cleverly layered on.

We have two rival towns in southern Minnesota farm country.  One hosts a company which bioengineers pest resistant crops, the other suffers from an uncanny amount of cancer deaths in adults but especially in young people. 

Teens are featured characters as they fight each other and vandalize and wage nearly all out war on the kids from the rival town.  I think teens would really like the book for the teen war and the fractured romances.

Blood is Spilled when a girl from one town allegedly shoots the daughter of the crop company head in cold blood.  What was a simmering battle becomes all out war, with the adults joining in.  Olivia, the accused, says she didn’t do it, but her hatred of the dead girl and witnesses putting her at the crime scene with a loaded gun make it seem impossible that she did not do it.

Enter her father, a lawyer from Minneapolis who dives into the battle between the cities in order to save his daughter.  He really gets in there and investigates the way a private detective would. 

I liked all of the characters who were good guys by the end.  Villains were a mixed lot.  One in particular named Kirk, was just a vile, horrible character who needed to toned down considerably.  Every time he entered the scene the book became something else, something I didn’t want to read.  You can suggest that someone has certain characteristics without showing and letting them speak crude repulsive nasty stuff.  

I’ve met the author and he just the most entertaining sweet person.  He’ll be at our library in a couple of weeks to do a program with the book group there.  I look forward to the discussion this morning and that one as well.

Visit Brian Freeman’s Web Site

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