________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 17 . . . . January 13, 2017


Blood and Belonging. (A Ray Robertson Mystery). (Rapid Reads).

Vicki Delany.
Victoria, BC: Raven Books/Orca, March, 2017.
109 pp., pbk., pdf., & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1284-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1285-7 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1286-4 (epub).

Grades 11 and up / Ages 16 and up.

Review by Christina Pike.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



Gradually the shape came into focus. It looked like a person. A man, most likely. He was face down in the water and not moving. He was fully dressed. I glanced up and down the beach. No one else was around. I bent over and untied the laces of my running shoes. I kicked the shoes off, took my phone out of its armband and placed it in one of the shoes.

Then I walked into the warm water. As I got closer I could see that it was a man, all right. Before I reached him, I knew he was dead. No one would be lying in that position, face in the water, not moving, for fun. I braced myself to see something bad. The sea is not kind to bodies, human or otherwise. But I've seen a lot of dead bodies, some of them about as bad as it gets. I could handle this one. I still have a hard time when it's little kids, but even a quick glance showed me this was no kid. He had to be at least the size of me, and I'm a big guy.

Vicki Delany's Blood and Belonging is the third book in the "Sergeant Ray Robertson" series. Delany stays true to the character of Sergeant Robertson. In this offering, Sergeant Robertson is on vacation with his wife In Turks and Caicos, and, during a morning jog, he comes across a dead body floating in the sea. He drags the body to shore only to find that it has no ID. The only thing to help identify the body is a picture in a wet plastic sleeve. The death does not sit well for Sergeant Robertson, and he has a feeling that he knows this man. He remembers where he saw the man, and the mystery begins to unravel and become more and more complicated.

      Blood and Belonging is more than a murder mystery. It also looks not only at family relationships but also what it means to be free. Delaney proves that freedom does come at a cost. She also touches on male/female roles and stereotypes that exist.

      A good read. Truly page-turning and suspenseful.

Highly Recommended.

Christina Pike is the principal of Macdonald Drive Junior High in St. John's, NL.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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