Category Archives: Blood Ties (Excerpt Preview)

Review: Blood Ties (Preview Excerpt) by Nicholas Guild

blood tiesTitle: Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild
Preview Excerpt Chapters 1-10
Publisher: Forge Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Book Length: 319 pages/Excerpt Length: 90 pages
Excerpt Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Homicide detective Ellen Ridley of the SFPD is tracking a serial killer terrorizing young women in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ridley is sure she’s cornered her most likely suspect: Stephen Tregear, a hacker and code breaker who works for U.S. Naval Intelligence. But Tregear is not the killer… he’s the killer’s son.

Ridley and Tregear team up to look for Tregear’s father, Walter, in an elaborate game of murderous cat and mouse. As the body count rises, Ridley must race against the clock to stop Walter before he kills any more women–and Tregear must finally confront the father who has been trying to kill him for twenty years. Blood Ties is an elegant and frightening thriller from Nicholas Guild.


Based on the first ten chapters, Blood Ties by Nicholas Guild appears to be a very promising police procedural. The characters are appealing, the mystery is intriguing and the premise of the story is very original.

Ellen Ridley and her partner Sam Tyler are convinced their latest case is related to two other homicides they have been investigating. Although the evidence does not point to one perpetrator, subtle clues lead Ellen and Sam to the conclusion the same killer is responsible for all three deaths. With no viable leads, Ellen is convinced that an onlooker who was photographed at two of the murder scenes is somehow connected to the killings and she quietly begins an off the books investigation of the suspect.

Ellen is a topnotch detective but she has a hard time keeping an emotional distance from her cases. During this current investigation, her objectivity is further comprised by her personal ties to one of the victims. She is also impetus and sometimes jumps into situations before considering the possible complications. Ellen wants justice for the victims but her impulsivity could jeopardize the case.

Sam is the complete opposite of Ellen. He is a veteran investigator and he easily checks his emotions at the door of the precinct. He is methodical and carefully figures all angles before proceeding with his next step. While Sam does not always agree with Ellen’s methods, he does always have her back.

The first ten chapters of Blood Ties provide the back story of the current cases along with interesting information about Ellen’s background. Equally compelling is Ellen’s preliminary investigation of the suspect and just as she is about to learn valuable information from him, the preview excerpt comes to an end. While I do not know how the story will eventually play out, I can say that the chapters provided for review are well-written and the mystery aspect of the storyline is very fascinating.

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