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Book Review: Victorian thriller 'Blood is Blood'

Victorian Musings and Ripping Yarns

'Blood is Blood,' Will Thomas's latest Victorian-era detective novel, tells the further adventures of eccentric detective/explorer Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewellyn (the narrator of the series). This book attempts to deviate from the series formula by sidelining Barker and making Llewellyn the focus of the story.

The plot concerns an unknown person trying to kill Barker by setting off explosives near his office. Llewellyn investigates while Barker convalesces.The characters go through a list of old enemies, although there are no recurring villains from previous books.

Thomas attempts to spice the story up by having Llewellyn handle the case on the eve of his wedding and by having Barker's long lost lost brother Caleb show up. Caleb is a Pinkerton detective fleeing United States authorities -- this reviewer visualized actor Sam Elliot as Caleb.

Thomas inserts the usual period details, including references to the martial arts and combat styles of the time.

The story is reasonably engrossing and is less gimmicky than some of the later entries in this series.

Readers seeking an introduction to the series may want to try a few of the earlier books first. But anyone who enjoyed the previous entries should still like this one.

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