EXCERPT: It’s like they say: pressure can make a diamond, or a stain. It all depends on what’s being squashed.
Squatting there in the shadow, one shoulder braced against a dirt-encrusted brick wall, trying to keep the Glock’s sight trained on the kid’s chest as he sauntered to the café entrance, I was beginning to fear that I was from Stainsville.
The problem wasn’t the occasional yellow flash of a taxicab, or the stink of rotting trash wafting out of the gutter. I had clear sight across the street. There was no wind to speak of. I knew the chambered hollow point round would expand when it punctured his flesh with a good chance of smearing an artery or organ.
Everything was ready.
My hands were jittering like a junkie in withdrawal.
Maybe it was nerves? I know it wasn’t guilt.
No, I wanted a tight bead on his chest. I wanted my bullet to tear him a new hole. Was giddy to see him ragdoll to the ground, and watch his blood sluice onto the street.
Those are the perks of an Angel of Death on an avenging mission.
My real fear was that my body was falling apart. That the stresses of the past weeks had caught up with me, and the flesh-machine named Jack Griffen had finally thrown a cog. That deep down, part of my constitution had ruptured. Now, when I needed it one last time.
Maybe murder took more than a professor of literature had – particularly a forty-five-year-old professor of literature with a diabolical heart condition and a fear of needles.
Why not? Everything else had broken.
I strained again to still the tremble in my arms. Just one more shot.
Because – oh, boy – I meant to murder. Just once.
ABOUT ‘BLOOD & INK’: Literature professor Jack Griffen has recently suffered a nervous breakdown. His wife has divorced him and she and their adult daughter have moved to the USA. Into the void steps exchange student Hieronymus Beck, claiming to be the professor’s greatest fan.
But everything changes when Jack finds Hiero’s list. Five sheets of paper. Five ways to commit a murder.
His student has told him he’s writing a crime novel, but is that all he is doing? Caught up in his protégé’s dangerous game, the mild-mannered professor finds himself asking how far will he go to save a life. As far as murder?
MY THOUGHTS: A most unusual and intriguing crime novel! I was, the whole way through, unsure about the reliability of Jack’s character. Is he the manipulated innocent that he claims to be, or is he in the throes of a full-blown psychotic episode and doing the manipulating? If you want the answer to that, you’ll need to read Blood & Ink.
Blood & Ink is very cleverly written. This is a ‘book within a book’ novel involving a ‘student’ who seems not to exist, who is writing a novel for which murder is research. Incidentally, our beloved professor of literature, Jack Griffen is also writing a novel.
The writing is intense, with frequent references to true crimes and some well known crime novels, all seamlessly woven into the body of this story.
Although this is an intense crime novel, there are also fleeting glimpses of Aussie humour which had me chuckling at times. Even snorting coffee out my nose once . . .
Blood & Ink is unlike any other crime novel that I have ever read. It contains traces of the psychological thriller, the family drama, and mystery. It mucked about with my mind. It had me confused. But I couldn’t stop flipping those pages. And in the end? I will be reading more from this author.
I: @brett.adams.author @fremantlepress
T: @Brett.Adams.Author @FremantlePress
#australiancrimefiction #contemporaryfiction #crime #mystery #thriller
THE AUTHOR: Brett Adams was raised in country Western Australia and lives in Perth. He has a PhD in Computer Science that taught him to love puzzles, and a family who taught him to love stories. He writes fiction across a range of genres and has been known to plant an easter egg or two.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Freemantle Press for providing a copy of Blood & Ink by Brett Adams for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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