A Measure of Blood – Kathleen George
Great crime writers come from all walks of life – bankers, judges, advertising professionals, even police – it’s what makes our favourite genre so rich and exciting. Kathleen George is a professor of theatre and writing at the University of Pittsburgh, which means that not only does she has a great sense of drama, but also expert skills to convey that drama.
In addition to her life of crime, Kathleen is also the author of a number of academic books and articles, and the editor of Pittsburgh Noir, a collection of short stories published as part of the wonderful Akashic Noir series, which shines a grizzly fictional light on some of the world’s great cities.
Her novels are described as police procedurals, a term which always sounds dull, but simply refers to the fact that there’s a crime, a detection process and then resolution – and of course about a billion different possibilities in between! A Measure of Blood is her seventh novel, the title a play on words referring also to biological parentage – or perhaps a lack of it.
Nadal watches for weeks before he first approaches the boy. No matter what his ex-girlfriend Maggie Brown says, he’s sure that Matthew is his son, and a boy should know his father. With self-righteous determination, he goes to Maggie’s house, demanding time with the boy. When she refuses, he reaches for a knife…
By the time detective Richard Christie arrives on the scene, all that remains is a bloodstain. No sign of the killer, and young Matt is too traumatized to remember anything of his ordeal. As Christie hunts for the killer and Maggie’s friends fight to keep the child out of the hands of the authorities, Nadal watches the news and waits. A boy should be with his father…
As you might expect from Kathleen George, this is an intelligent and sensitively written thriller, where real people, real emotions and compassion take centre stage, rather than violence, greed or sensationalism.