Sunday, April 29, 2012

Review: Bleed For Me by Michael Robotham

Title: Bleed for Me
Michael Robotham
Publication Date: 
 February 27, 2012

Reviewer: Ethan

Summary (as quoted from Amazon): She's standing at the front door. Covered in blood. Is she the victim of a crime? Or the perpetrator?
A teenage girl--Sienna, a troubled frend of his daughter--comes to Joe O'Loughlin's door one night. She is terrorized, incoherent-and covered in blood.
The police find Sienna's father, a celebrated former cop, murdered in the home he shared with Sienna. Tests confirm that it's his blood on Sienna. She says she remembers nothing.
Joe O'Loughlin is a psychologist with troubles of his own. His marriage is coming to an end and his daughter will barely speak to him. He tries to help Sienna, hoping that if he succeeds it will win back his daughter's affection. But Sienna is unreachable, unable to mourn her father's death or to explain it.
Investigators take aim at Sienna. O'Loughlin senses something different is happening, something subterranean and terrifying to Sienna. It may be something in her mind. Or it may be something real. Someone real. Someone capable of the most grim and gruesome murder, and willing to kill again if anyone gets too close.
His newest thriller is further evidence that Michael Robotham is, as David Baldacci has said, "the real deal--we only hope he will write faster."

Review: Joseph O'Loughlin is facing some tough times. His fourteen year old daughter, Charlie, recently suffered a traumatic kidnapping and hasn't been the same since. He has separated from his wife of over twenty years, Julianne, and a divorce seems imminent. On top of all his family issues, Joe has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, and the involuntary ticks are slowly taking over his body. A seasoned psychologist, Joe lectures at the local university, assists in court cases, and attempts to keep the last strands of his personal life from unraveling.
Despite their strained relationship, Joe picks up his daughter and her best friend, Sienna, from school. He intends to take them back to the family home, but Sienna insists that he drop her off to meet with her boyfriend. Joe knows the "boy" is really closer to a man, but after a confirmation phone call to Sienna's mother, he agrees to drop her off. That evening, Joe receives a startling phone call from Julianne. Sienna has shown up at their home, catatonic and covered in blood. After sending the girl to the hospital, they learn that Sienna's father has been murdered at his home.
Immediately, Sienna is committed to a hospital for psychological analysis, and becomes the only suspect in the murder case. She is unable to remember any of the previous evening's events, and has no reasoning to explain her father's death or why she was covered in blood. Joe sets out to reach Sienna, discover who killed her father, and hopefully regain a relationship with his daughter.
 In the tradition of other "literary" detective authors such as Dennis Lehane and Tana French, Michael Robotham has written a grim and moving novel while never sacrificing the suspense. Each character has a unique sense of reality in them that Robotham is able to relay to the reader, without getting bogged down with descriptions. As each layer of this mystery unfolded, I felt more and more connected to the characters and to the situations they were presented. My heart ached for the troubled Sienna and the flawed O'Loughlin family. This is one of the best novels I have read this year, and readers should definitely take notice.

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