A Matter of Blood

Sarah Pinborough
A Matter of Blood Cover

Not what I expected


It's a crime novel. I wasn't expecting a crime novel. I was expecting SF or Fantasy, not an pretty standard murder-mystery that just happens to be set in the slightly near-future. The only Fantasy element is the mystery surrounding the Man of Flies and even that gets pretty much summed up if you read a lot of Fantasy anyway and can read between the lines with a touch of imagination.

Having read the synopsis you would think that there was more Man of Flies, more soul-searching and personal revelations. You don't get that. As Fantasy goes it's pretty basic with not a lot of imagination required to see the plot coming. Which actually sums up the crime/mystery element too. It's pretty obvious what's going to happen and how everything will unfurl even down to the standard reveal at the close of the book.

It's an easy, solid read but I'd not call it a page-turner. I like the seriously-flawed lead character Cass though he seems good at leaving a trail of death behind him. As this book is the first in the trilogy I would expect that the questions Cass has still not answered will be resolved in the next two books. It's distinctly possible that I'll read the rest of the trilogy just to see where Cass goes from here.

Hopefully there's more going on with the Fantasy element in the next two books. As a one-off book it doesn't read as anything more than a standard murder-mystery with a very minor supernatural undertone which leaves you wondering why the author bothered with the supernatural bit anyway.