Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
A Line of Blood
Cover of A Line of Blood
A Line of Blood
A Novel
Borrow Borrow Borrow

Whose secrets cut deeper?
Your family's.

Whose secrets do you fear?
Your neighbor's.

Whose secrets can kill?
Your own.

For Alex Mercer, his wife, Millicent, and their precocious eleven-year-old son, Max, are everything—his little tribe that makes him feel all's right with the world. But when he and Max find their enigmatic next-door neighbor dead in his apartment, their lives are suddenly and irrevocably changed. The police begin an extremely methodical investigation, and Alex becomes increasingly impatient for them to finish. After all, it was so clearly a suicide.

As new information is uncovered, troubling questions arise—questions that begin to throw suspicion on Alex, Millicent, and even Max. Each of them has secrets it seems. And each has something to hide.

With the walls of their perfect little world closing in on them day after day, husband, wife, and son must decide how far they'll go to protect themselves—and their family—from investigators carefully watching their every move . . . waiting for one of them to make a mistake.

A Line of Blood explores what it means to be a family—the ties that bind us, and the lies that can destroy us if we're not careful. Highly provocative, intensely twisty and suspenseful, this novel will have you wondering if one of them is guilty—or if all of them are—and will keep you on edge until its shocking final pages.

You will never look at your loved ones the same way again. . . .

Whose secrets cut deeper?
Your family's.

Whose secrets do you fear?
Your neighbor's.

Whose secrets can kill?
Your own.

For Alex Mercer, his wife, Millicent, and their precocious eleven-year-old son, Max, are everything—his little tribe that makes him feel all's right with the world. But when he and Max find their enigmatic next-door neighbor dead in his apartment, their lives are suddenly and irrevocably changed. The police begin an extremely methodical investigation, and Alex becomes increasingly impatient for them to finish. After all, it was so clearly a suicide.

As new information is uncovered, troubling questions arise—questions that begin to throw suspicion on Alex, Millicent, and even Max. Each of them has secrets it seems. And each has something to hide.

With the walls of their perfect little world closing in on them day after day, husband, wife, and son must decide how far they'll go to protect themselves—and their family—from investigators carefully watching their every move . . . waiting for one of them to make a mistake.

A Line of Blood explores what it means to be a family—the ties that bind us, and the lies that can destroy us if we're not careful. Highly provocative, intensely twisty and suspenseful, this novel will have you wondering if one of them is guilty—or if all of them are—and will keep you on edge until its shocking final pages.

You will never look at your loved ones the same way again. . . .

Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Ben McPherson is a television producer, director, and writer and for more than ten years worked for the BBC, among other outlets. He is currently a columnist for Aftenposten, Norway's leading quality daily, and lives in Oslo with his wife and two children.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 6, 2015
    Set in London, British TV producer McPherson’s slick suspense debut offers no psychological insights. When Alex Mercer and his 11-year-old son, Max, go chasing after their cat, they find their next-door neighbor, Mr. Bryce, electrocuted by an iron in the bathtub. Is it a suicide or a homicide? A short while before this discovery, Alex’s wife, Millicent, lost a daughter in utero. In the aftermath, Max suffered extreme signs of anxiety, would not allow his mother near him and had to see a psychiatrist. Once he stabilized, Millicent refused to deal with or talk about her feelings, disappearing for long periods, not functioning as a wife or a mother and burying herself in her work. Alex fears that the impact of finding the body may cause Max to regress. When a bracelet of Millicent’s turns up in Bryce’s house, both husband and wife fall under suspicion for murder. The simple, linear plot builds to a predictable and unsatisfying ending. Agent: Judith Murray, Greene & Heaton Literary Agency (U.K.).

  • Library Journal

    June 15, 2015

    Mercer and his 11-year-old son, Max, enter their next-door neighbor's house in North London, where they find the man, who lives alone, dead in his bathtub with an iron submerged between his legs. Suicide by electrocution, thinks Alex, but police believe otherwise. The immediate concern of Alex and Millicent, his American-born wife, is protecting Max from the trauma of having seen the body. But this pales when police find Millicent's bracelet in the neighbor's bedroom and Alex learns she was having an affair, which becomes reason enough for each of them to be arrested sequentially on suspicion of murder. The Mercers have suffered grievously already, when they lost an unborn child, but this is tearing the family apart as never before. VERDICT McPherson's debut prolongs suspense until the dreadful truth becomes undeniable, raising the questions of how these well-drawn characters will survive and how justice is best served. With major marketing intended, expect demand.--Michele Leber, Arlington, VA

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2015
    In the wake of a neighbor's apparent suicide, a young London family comes under suspicion as they uncover secret after secret about each other and their relationships in McPherson's debut mystery. Alex, Millicent, and their 11-year-old son, Max, have been dealing with the aftermath of a family tragedy that has led, somewhat ironically, to Millicent's success as an author of self-help books. When Alex and Max then discover the body of their neighbor Bryce, it appears to be a suicide. But as Alex and the police begin to dig deeper, they find connections between Millicent and the neighbor that suggest the truth might be much darker. McPherson's mystery is carefully constructed, a literary house of cards. Layer upon layer of revelation increases the tension, but the characters behave so abominably that it becomes hard to stick with them to the end when the truth is revealed. In the era following the success of Gone Girl, there seems to be an overflow of psychological thrillers in which there is much mystery but no sympathetic character. This novel joins that category. The mystery of what happened to the neighbor is rather cleverly unspooled, but it becomes eclipsed by the outrageous and destructive antics of Alex and Millicent as well as the precocious Max. And once we know what happened to Bryce, the superficial response to this revelation is disturbing, neglecting to truly consider what it may mean for the future of the family. There are moments that almost seem like fantasy because they violate our expectations of how adults behave-but perhaps that's the attraction of this kind of thriller. Schadenfreude in spades, but a little too dark to be a comfortable guilty pleasure.

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • The Guardian "An impressive slice of domestic suspense... McPherson is a dab hand at creating realistically flawed characters to whom one just about manages to give the benefit of the doubt, and the ending... is still shocking."
  • Lisa Jackson, New York Times bestselling author "Fascinating. From the first page of A LINE OF BLOOD, I was hooked. I couldn't put it down!"
  • Kirkus Reviews "McPherson's mystery is carefully constructed, a literary house of cards. Layer upon layer of revelation increases the tension."
  • Library Journal "McPherson's debut prolongs suspense until the dreadful truth becomes undeniable, raising the questions of how these well-drawn characters will survive and how justice is best served."
  • New York Journal of Books "A compelling read for its vivid portrait of a family whose secrets are hidden behind a mask of normalcy until a violent act rips it away... This is a novel for those who like their suspense written in dark tones."
  • Daily Mail (UK) "McPherson displays a rare skill for creating characters with depth in a world that is splintering around them."
  • Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Cold Cold Heart "Gripping from the get-go, A Line of Blood will have readers wondering what they might be capable of in the face of the terrible isolation of self within a family running off the rails."
  • The Sunday Post (UK) "A family drama packed with suspense."
  • The Scotsman (UK) "Many good novels pose the question: how should you act in certain circumstances? This is the question McPherson puts, and the answer that he finds for his characters seems to me admirable and yet morally dubious. This is how it should be."
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    HarperCollins
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
A Line of Blood
A Line of Blood
A Novel
Ben McPherson
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel