Review: BLOOD ON BLOOD (Snubnose Press 2012)
An old man on the brink of death calls his estranged sons to see him. The sons are half-brothers, who have as little love for each other as their old man seems to have for them. Even so, their dying father feels compelled to tell them both about a big diamond heist he pulled. Being that he’s not long for this earth, he informs them that the diamonds are out there to be had, if only they can find them. And having finally told them, he
expires passes away kicks
the bucket dies.
Now, it’s up to the half-brothers, Mick and Jerzy, to figure out where the diamonds are and how to get their grubby little hands on them. One problem: the half-brothers aren’t exactly Frick and Frack. Of the two, Mick is the more responsible. An ex-cop who left the force in disgrace, he now works hard at low-paying, but honest jobs. He finds therapy in hard work and hard play, getting up early in the morning to don sweats and run off his worries.
Jerzy, on the other hand, is a thug, who’s made his name working for criminals. Of the two, ironically, he’s more closely followed in his father’s footsteps. However, unlike his father, Jerzy is little more than a lackey. He hasn't the diligence, character and strategic thinking ability needed to truly excel in his chosen calling.
If the men have anything in common, it’s their poor luck when it comes to women. And as they ostensibly work together to find the missing diamonds, they end up enamored of the same one.
The story, told in alternating points of view by both brothers, is a riveting study of two men working at cross-purposes toward the same goal. As a result, they must overcome not only the obstacles created by others, but those they create for themselves by their own choices, engendered by years of bad blood between them.
The authors do an outstanding job of creating two characters who are deeply flawed yet not wholly unsympathetic. Even the hapless Jerzy is a fully realized character, with whom readers can empathize, despite his being less than admirable.
Written in gritty, hard-hitting prose with wit and suspenseful twists and turns aplenty, BLOOD ON BLOOD is a down and dirty “must read” that harkens to the classics of hardboiled crime fiction and noir.