Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blood Bond - Sophie Littlefield

First line: "Joe Bashir stood in the glow of the streetlight shining through the triple-glazed windows of his girlfriend's Berkeley townhouse, pulling up his trousers and staring thoughtfully at the tableau unfolding in the street below."

Sophie Littlefield has launched a new series with Pocket Star books. Blood Bond, released as an ebook, introduces Joe Bashir, a Pakistani-American homicide investigator. A one-time med-school student who decided to pursue law enforcement when his father was brutally attacked in a hate crime, Bashir struggles with relationships but excels in his chosen field.

In Blood Bond, Bashir is called to investigate the suspicious death of a man at a dinner party. The wealthy Engler family hosted the dinner party and have been experiencing some harassment connected to Bruce Engler's business. The harassment has been harmless, so their connection seems unlikely, but Bashir has to pursue all avenues. However, when Gail Engler, Bruce's wife, ends up dead days later, new evidence surfaces for Bashir and the case takes on a whole new twist.

Littlefield has taken on an ambitious effort with her new protagonist. He carries a lot of baggage, which follows the prototype of crime's detectives, but he carries unique baggage. The racial element is in the background, but still plays a huge role in Bashir's overall character. Littlefield artfully balances this development of Bashir so that WHO he is remains clear, especially in contrast to those he is investigating, but doesn't overpower the plot of the novel. I look forward to watching how Bashir continues to develop in this series. He's a welcome addition to crime fiction.

Don't expect Blood Bond to be a female version of Stella Hardesty. This book is distinctly different from Littlefield's first crime series; she's expanding her horizons and showing even more of her writing chops.

I hesitate to comment on the ebook itself. I don't believe the review copy I received is a final format since font sizes and styles differed throughout the book.

Blood Bond is available in all ebook formats (ISBN: 9781476709406) from Pocket Star. For a limited time the ebook is priced at $1.99


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