Fire in the Blood

Random. Aug. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9780812988581. $27. SUSPENSE
DEBUT Coop, a soldier serving in Afghanistan, learns his wife, Kay, has died in a hit-and-run accident. He is granted leave and flies to New York to attend to her affairs but finds the reception from Kay’s family cold and distant. A mysterious visitor at the funeral leads him to suspect that Kay’s death was not accidental. Utilizing his military training and instincts, Coop chooses to abandon his return to Afghanistan and instead embarks on his own mission to uncover the truth. As he moves deeper into the unknown aspects of his wife’s life, Coop is haunted by memories from his military service, and the final days with Kay before deployment. Facing numerous obstacles along the way, including a drug gang and an unreliable detective, Coop must unravel truth from lies to grasp the redemption he’s been seeking all along. In addition to his background as a soldier in Afghanistan, debut author O’Brien’s ability to express the human experience of inner turmoil and atonement, revenge and justice, displays his powerful and engaging talent as a writer.
VERDICT Fans of Michael Connelly’s “Harry Bosch” series will appreciate Coop’s brusque, principled personality. [See Prepub Alert, 1/29/20.]

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