“Take a Peek” book reviews are short and (possibly) sweet, keeping the commentary brief and providing a little peek at what the book’s about and what I thought.
‘I’ve chased him for over twenty years, and across countless miles, and though often I was running, there have been many times when I could do nothing but sit and wait. Now I am only desperate for it to be finished.’
In 1944, just days after the liberation of Paris, Charles Jackson sees something horrific: a man, apparently drinking the blood of a murdered woman. Terrified, he does nothing, telling himself afterwards that worse things happen in wars.
Seven years later he returns to the city – and sees the same man dining in the company of a fascinating young woman. When they leave the restaurant, Charles decides to follow…
A Love Like Blood is a dark, compelling thriller about how a man’s life can change in a moment; about where the desire for truth – and for revenge – can lead; about love and fear and hatred. And it is also about the question of blood.
Marcus Sedgwick is a prolific writer of unusual, often dark and disturbing YA fiction. A Love Like Blood is his first adult novel, and it’s not for the squeamish.
A Love Like Blood has the propulsive energy and desperate drive of a classic vampire story, although that’s not precisely what this is. The book’s heartbeat is the obsessive hunter’s drive to track down his prey, a figure representing ultimate evil, at whatever cost and over however many years it takes.
The pacing and sense of lurking doom and desperation remind me of books such as The Historian, or even Dracula itself. As I said, I wouldn’t exactly call this a vampire novel (nothing shiny or sparkly or supernaturally sexy here, to be sure), although the topic of vampires is broached as the main character tries to apply a scientific lens to a fascination with blood and what that means.
A Love Like Blood is about a man haunted by one fateful wartime moment, whose life eventually becomes singularly focused on what he saw and what it means, and his quest to punish the man whose actions hang over every moment he experiences from that point forward.
The horror here is mostly psychological, although there are some more graphic moments too. Definitely not a fun or pleasant read, but well worth checking out if you enjoy tales of obsession and dread. A Love Like Blood is creepy and chilling, and impossible to put down.
Title: A Love Like Blood
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication date: August 28, 2014
Length: 320 pages