Blood Ties (Father Dowling Series #24)

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Overview

Henry Dolan's granddaughter, Martha Lynch, adopted 23 years earlier, wants to find her birth parents. Her adopted parents are frantic over the idea of losing her, so Henry seeks out Father Dowling for help.

Meanwhile, Martha's birth father, Nathaniel Fleck, who left before Martha's birth, has contacted Martha's real mother, Madeline, for details about Martha. Madeline panics, afraid he won't leave her alone, and turns to Amos Cadbury, a lawyer, for advice. When Nathaniel is ...

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Overview

Henry Dolan's granddaughter, Martha Lynch, adopted 23 years earlier, wants to find her birth parents. Her adopted parents are frantic over the idea of losing her, so Henry seeks out Father Dowling for help.

Meanwhile, Martha's birth father, Nathaniel Fleck, who left before Martha's birth, has contacted Martha's real mother, Madeline, for details about Martha. Madeline panics, afraid he won't leave her alone, and turns to Amos Cadbury, a lawyer, for advice. When Nathaniel is found murdered two days later, Dowling and Amos must juggle the responsibility of spoiling the peace of the families involved while uncovering the truth behind the murder.

Blood Ties is an absorbing and suspenseful addition to this beloved series.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[E]ngaging...McInerny's nimble characterizations and subtle soundings of the moral issues make this a strong entry in the long-running series."

Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
The engaging 24th Father Dowling mystery (after 2004's Requiem for a Realtor) explores the moral ambiguities of the choices people make in the wake of a young woman's unwanted pregnancy. McInerny uses a full palette of nothing but grays as Martha Lynch seeks to learn the identity of her birth mother on the eve of her engagement. At the same time, Nathaniel Fleck, who turned his back on Madeline years earlier when she was pregnant, is determined to learn the fate of his child and to make amends. Almost everyone involved, from a lecherous oldster to a sleazy lawyer, shows at least a modicum of decency. And some, like Father Dowling and lawyer Amos Cadbury, both privy to Madeline's and Martha's identities, carefully weigh the one's need for secrecy and the other's for knowledge. When Fleck dies in a suspicious accident, the question becomes not only how the ramifications of Martha's parentage will play out but did someone resort to murder to keep Fleck from finding the answer? McInerny's nimble characterizations and subtle soundings of the moral issues make this a strong entry in the long-running series. Agent, the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Father Roger Dowling solves the murder of another unwed father. Years ago, Henry and Vivian Dolan's daughter Sheila and her husband George Lynch, despondent because they couldn't have children of their own, adopted a little girl. Sheila met the baby's mother Madeline, a Northwestern coed whose boyfriend had run out on her, before Martha was born and thanked her for her gift; Madeline married Mark Lorenzo, her philosophy professor, and raised a family of her own; and Martha grew into a fine young woman, a paralegal courted by the son of one of her firm's blueblood partners. Now, just as Martha is seeking to know her birth mother so that her in-laws won't accept her simply as a Dolan or a Lynch, her birth father, novelist Nathaniel Fleck, pops up in Madeline's life full of remorse and determination to find his child. Fearing the harm her untold secret could do to her marriage, Madeline panics, but an obliging hit-and-run driver erases her problem before Fleck can do serious damage. Or does he? Following an unscrupulous and none-too-bright lawyer who's improbably hired by two different players to unearth the truth, McInerny spins a tale of decent people whose lives are roiled by secrets they never knew or thought were long buried. So absorbing are the threatened families that it's a shame when the whodunit plot finally kicks in and Father Dowling (Prodigal Father, 2002, etc.) has to extract a confession.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312336905
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2005
  • Series: Father Dowling Series , #24
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.65 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

RALPH MCINERNY is the author of over thirty books, including a popular mystery series set at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught for over forty years. He lives in South Bend, Indiana.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A solid murder mystery

    Sheila and George Lynch were depressed because they could not have children of their own until they adopt a little girl after meeting the mother, Northwestern student Madeline, abandoned by her boyfriend. Madeline gives birth to Martha, who is raised by the Lynches with love. Over two decades later Martha works in the Loop as a paralegal at Foley, Farnum and Casey when Bernard Casey, the son of a senior partner, falls in love with her and asks her to marry him............... At the same time Martha considers the proposal, her biological father Nathaniel Fleck returns into Madeline's life wanting to meet his daughter. Madeline fears her indiscretion will destroy her happy marriage. However, Fleck dies in a hit and run at the same time that Martha, over the trepidation of the loving Lynch couple, seeks her biological parents so her future blueblood in-laws will know exactly the color of her blood. She starts with Father Dowling and lawyer Amos Cadbury, who already knows the identity of the mother but feels trapped in a moral dilemma while Fleck¿s death comes under suspicion............ The story line is at its best in the first half as several individuals struggle with what is right in areas that are so gray that no sound bite response will work. Father Dowling, Cadbury, Madeline, Lynchs, and Nathaniel internalize what is morally the correct thing because what is right for one person could harm another. When the homicide and subsequent investigation takes over, BLOOD TIES remains a fine who-done-it, but loses some of the strength of characters facing a complex dilemma. In his letter X appearance, Father Dowling starts with an interesting morality play that turns into a solid murder mystery............... Harriet Klausner

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