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A Line of Blood

Cover of A Line of Blood

A Line of Blood

A Novel

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. . . .

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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.

  • 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."
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    HarperCollins
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A Novel
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