By: James Hankins
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 6/5/2018
My Rating: 5 Stars
Top Books of 2018
Never trust a blackmailer.
Vermont’s promising young governor, Andrew Kane, is at another public meet-and-greet when a stranger from the crowd slips him a cell phone and whispers, “Keep this with you…keep it secret…you’re going to need it after the arrest.”
Hours later, Andrew’s brother, Tyler, is taken into custody—framed for the brutal murder of a young woman—and Andrew discovers there is only one way to free him: answer the mysterious phone and agree to a blackmailer’s demands. All the governor has to do to make it all go away is compromise everything he stands for and grant a full pardon to a convicted felon.
With no better option, he complies. Which is his first mistake…because the stranger isn’t through with him. He has another little condition. Then another. And another. And Andrew has no choice but to play along until he can find a way out of this personal and political nightmare. But he isn’t prepared for what he will face, or how far he will have to go to save his brother and keep his family together.
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From the bestselling author of The Inside Dark, The Prettiest One, and Shady Cross —comes his most influential book yet, A BLOOD THING. A riveting emotional and character-driven political suspense thriller which tests the limits of how far a person will go to protect his family and those he loves.
Meet the Kane family.
Vermont Governor Andrew Kane — the youngest person to be elected governor in Vermont’s history—age thirty-two. His father and grandfather were respected senators and a great-grandfather, a distinguished federal judge. Husband, Brother, Father.
Lieutenant Henry Kane —Internal Affairs. Brother of Governor, Andrew Kane; Tyler and Molly
Molly Kane —Sister. Former US Army and Aspiring Vermont State Police Officer. Twin Sister of Brother Tyler, Governor Andrew, and IA Henry.
Tyler Kane —Twin Brother of Sister Molly. Age 29. Suffered traumatic brain injury when he was seven years old which had permanently damaged him. His mental age was that of an eleven-year-old boy. He volunteers at the local animal shelter—lover of video games and his electric motorcycle bike.
Rebecca Kane—Wife of Governor Andrew Kane.
Life changed for the Kane family the day Governor Andrew Kane received a black mystery phone with the message:
“Keep that phone with you at all times, Governor. And keep it a secret. You’re going to need it after the arrest.”
Kane had followed another political candidate of corruption and scandal. Andrew Kane was honest. He made good on his promises. However, when a blackmailer issues demands, he puts the family and his career in jeopardy.
The younger brother, Tyler has been set up. Arrested for the murder of a woman Sally Graham. They had incriminating evidence. Could Tyler have known this girl and engaged her services? Were they aware that Tyler and the governor’s brother was in the state police Internal Affairs Unit? Henry was the IAU.
It was hard to comprehend an innocent Tyler had anything to do with the murder. They could not allow him to go to jail. The only violence he ever exhibited occurred during his video games. Tyler could not intentionally harm anyone, much less kill them.
The blackmailer begins his games. Never trust a blackmailer. It never stops with one demand. He keeps them on a chain with ongoing threats. What does he want from this family?
It starts with a demand to release a prisoner in a correctional facility. The blackmailer demands him to be pardoned, free and clear. Otherwise, his younger brother will go down for first-degree murder and spend the rest of his days in prison.
However, this is only the beginning. There is something more sinister at play. The blackmailer is smart and dangerous. He had the perfect plan.
How far should you go to protect your family? How could Andrew barter with a murderer for his brother’s freedom? How could he use the power of his office to set a convicted criminal free in exchange for services rendered—while at the same time looking the other way as the real murderer disappeared?
He had promised Vermonters an end to government corruption. Now here he was debating whether to breach that trust. The trust of the people he had earned. For the first time since taking the oath of office more than three years ago, he felt less than clean.
However, he may have to protect more than one brother. Innocent people become collateral damage. Blood ties are substantial; yet, the murderer may also have his own blood ties with revenge and justice on his mind.
Brothers join forces to keep a blackmailer and the person behind the master plan from forces that are conspiring to destroy their family. Even people in high places have flaws, and the author showcases their strengths and weaknesses.
Hankins delivers an outstanding character-driven thriller with a mix of mystery, political, psychological, legal, crime, and domestic suspense. A remarkable plot and complex characters with a race against time to protect loved ones in this high stakes conspiracy— leading to an explosive ending, not to be missed.
From the personal and professional lives of political figures and law enforcement officials, targeted for past grudges and placed in challenging circumstances. When family members are involved, lines are crossed.
With unparalleled suspense and his own trademark explosive twists, James Hankins continues to wow readers with his uncanny ability to cross many genres. As I have mentioned previously in my other reviews—have read all the author’s books, and each one is unique.
Highly entertaining! An intense well-written political thriller— A BLOOD THING is a perfect gift for Father’s Day! Top 20 Books coming June 2018.
A special thank you to the author, #NetGalley and #ThomasandMercer for an early reading copy. Goodreads
“[A] meticulously plotted thriller.”
“Two brothers put to the ultimate test. How far will they go to save a sibling they love, and at what cost? James Hankins’s characters are perfectly imperfect, the dilemma they face increasingly intense, and the ending anything but certain for everyone involved in A Blood Thing.” —Robert Dugoni, #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite Series
“This dark, edgy tale touches a multitude of human emotions and is filled with sacrifice, loss, and terror. Hang on tight and remember to breathe.” —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author
“Both a family saga and a political thriller, Hankins’s latest novel puts a governor’s family on the brink of destruction and explores how far siblings will go to protect each other. This is James Patterson on steroids.” —Charlie Donlea, USA Today bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Taken
“James Hankins’s A Blood Thing is the type of page-turner that you’ll want to tell everyone you know about as soon as you turn the final page.”
—The Real Book Spy
About the Author
James Hankins is the author of six Amazon #1 bestsellers (The Inside Dark, The Prettiest One, Shady Cross, Brothers and Bones, Jack of Spades, and Drawn). For a while, he wrote screenplays, then detoured into practicing law before turning to writing fiction.
He lives north of Boston with his wife and sons, who keep him happy and even allow him time to write. His seventh novel, A Blood Thing, will be released June 5, 2018.
Each of James's first six books spent time in the Kindle Top 100, with The Prettiest One reaching the #1 spot across all categories in the Kindle Store.
In addition, Shady Cross received a coveted starred review from Publishers Weekly, while Brothers and Bones earned one from Kirkus Reviews and was named to its list of "Best Books of 2013." Read More