Review: Blood Sweep by Steven F. Havill

I originally rated this 3.5 stars but due to my greatest memory of the book being that I fell asleep and remember nothing, I am retroactively lowering it to 2 stars.

Well, we're briefly back into crime and mysteries.

Also, this is part of The Posadas County Mysteries series, and I think this is book 20, but you can definitely read this as a standalone. I didn't feel like I was missing anything, nor do I really this it's necessary to read 19 other books before getting to this one.

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

Someone is trying to scare Sheriff Bobby Torrez, but no one knows who or why. It might have to do with Miles Waddell, the rich rancher, and his multi-million dollar theme park, NightZone, or it might just be someone else trying to threaten the sheriff's life.

Estelle Reyes Guzman, undersheriff, is worried about her 15-year-old son, internationally renowned concert piano prodigy, Francisco Guzman, as he travels with his music conservatory. When Estelle finds out that Francisco is in Mazatlan, Mexico's crime-ridden city, she worries that he'll become a target for scams and kidnappers.

Her worries escalate when her uncle - someone she never knew existed - surfaces and tries to rebuild old family ties. Estelle attempts to find out more about her family history from her ageing mother, but the man who claims to be her uncle begins leaving a trail of bodies behind him.

Juggling her worries, Estelle is also watching over the former sheriff and close family friend, Bill Gastner, who took a dive in his own garage. And when his own family comes to visit, they only add to the mix of people and events that are stirring in New Mexico.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I started reading this about a week ago, when I was getting bored of A Vintage Wedding and wanted something more exciting. So I decided that it was about time for another crime/mystery book to get me back into the swing of my review books.

Once I started this, I knocked out over 1/3 of the book that night, and then went on to read more the next day. In between, I took a small break to complete A Vintage Wedding before continuing with this again. Whenever I was reading this, I was completely interested and had to keep going because I wanted to know more. And the further I got, the more complex the plot became.

The author wasted no time in beginning the first storyline, Sheriff Bobby Torrez being threatened with his life. I think it might have been the first chapter in which Torrez became a target and set the rest of the events in motion. Not long after, the second and third storylines were put into play - Gastner taking a dive and Estelle's mysterious uncle turning up.

I did think that the last storyline, Estelle's uncle turning up, took quite awhile to actually come into play. The premise had already been set up, but it took several more chapters before anything really hinted at the storyline expanding. But once it did, everything kind of fell into place and began to speed in the direction that the blurb hinted at.

During certain points in the book, I felt like there were scenes that could've been left out, but as I read on, I realized why they had been included. There were some scenes that referenced previous books in the series, which I had not read, but nothing had made me feel like I was missing out because I hadn't started from the beginning of the series.

I really liked this book, and I really loved the plot, but I don't think this is a series that I'll continue with, or one that I'll start with from the first book. I liked reading this as a standalone, and I think I'm just going to leave it like that.

As the ending came about, the plot really began to escalate, and I really enjoyed how action-packed the book became. Things just kept happening and I really wanted to keep reading and find out how everything was going to end. And I ended up really liking how the book ended, though I did think that it could have had more explanation and more action. The last chapter could have done more to resolve one of the storylines, but it was a good ending.

I think I was more interested in the plot than the characters here, because I didn't really feel much of a connection, or that they were anything special. It might be because I haven't read any of the other books in the series, but I just didn't really feel much for the characters or what they were going through.
I found Estelle Reyes Guzman's storyline to be the most interesting, just because a man claiming to be her uncle randomly decided that he wants to reconnect with the family. That, I found to be the most interesting part of the book, and it always had my attention.
Sheriff Bobby Torrez was an okay character. Likeable enough, but I thought he was kind of dull. It didn't feel like there was a lot to him and he fell kind of flat for me.
Bill Gastner isn't really a character that I can talk much about, seeing as he didn't really do much in the book. He did segue a couple of storylines, but as a character, he didn't actually do a whole lot.

2 stars. I found this book to be highly enjoyable, but I can't say that it's one of the best books I've read this year. Like I said, I don't think I'll be following the series; instead, I'll be leaving this as a standalone or companion book. I would have given this a higher rating if I didn't feel like it dragged a bit at multiple points in the middle and a little after the beginning.

Thank you to NetGalley for hosting this on your site. Thank you also to Poisoned Pen Press for putting this on NetGalley and approving my request to read this in exchange for an honest review.

Leave a Reply

1 comment

  • Anne says:

    If you read some (or all) of the earlier books in the series, you'll be much more invested in the characters; and some of the plot lines here will make more sense. Enjoy!