Whose secrets cut deeper?
Whose secrets do you fear?
Whose secrets can kill?
For Alex Mercer, his wife, Millicent, and their precocious eleven-year-old son, Max, are everything—his little tribe that makes him feel all's right with the world. But when he and Max find their enigmatic next-door neighbor dead in his apartment, their lives are suddenly and irrevocably changed. The police begin an extremely methodical investigation, and Alex becomes increasingly impatient for them to finish. After all, it was so clearly a suicide.
As new information is uncovered, troubling questions arise—questions that begin to throw suspicion on Alex, Millicent, and even Max. Each of them has secrets it seems. And each has something to hide.
With the walls of their perfect little world closing in on them day after day, husband, wife, and son must decide how far they'll go to protect themselves—and their family—from investigators carefully watching their every move . . . waiting for one of them to make a mistake.
A Line of Blood explores what it means to be a family—the ties that bind us, and the lies that can destroy us if we're not careful. Highly provocative, intensely twisty and suspenseful, this novel will have you wondering if one of them is guilty—or if all of them are—and will keep you on edge until its shocking final pages.
You will never look at your loved ones the same way again. . . .
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About the Author
Ben McPherson is a television producer, director, and writer and for more than ten years worked for the BBC, among other outlets. He is currently a columnist for Aftenposten, Norway's leading quality daily, and lives in Oslo with his wife and two children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I don't know how this book has gotten a 5 star rating when there are no customer reviews. I couldn't even finish this book, it's very slow and I didn't like the writing style.
Phew! This book was a doozey. It is defiantly not a fun book, or even an easy read. I mean, it's easy to read, minus the strong London dialect, mannerisms and euphemisms. It's the content that's not real easy to swallow. There was so much tension and anxiety in the book, it was unreal. The only way i can honestly describe reading this book is like this: you know whenever you went swimming as a kid and your'd go underwater and go as deep as you could reach. Then all of a sudden you would feel your lung start to constrict, You really thought you could hold your breath longer. So you flip and start swimming to the surface and your swimming to the top, you can see the sunlight shinning through,it's just a few strokes away... but your lungs are burning You have that little bit of panic in the back of your mind. I mean, you have to make it,right? The surface is literally right there! Just a few more seconds and your all good, but you still feel that heavy pressure from the water you still haven't broken through yet. you begin to wonder how much longer you got till you become topside because that pressure is so strong... who would of thought water was that heavy??!! THATS THIS WHOLE BOOK!!!! After page..I dont know, maybe 75, this books content seemed heavy, It had a lot of anxiety and animosity attached to the main character. You understood his anger, it was reasonable. You were angry with him! But let me explain the book first and you'll get it a little better. Alex Mercer looks like he had the perfect life. Heck, he sort of did. A beautiful American wife and an extremely intelligent 11 year old son. His perfect tribe.... Till Alex and Max discovered the neighbor dead in his bathtub. Apparently it was a suicide. Alex thought he was a pretty alright guy, I mean they didnt really know each other that well. They had been neighbors for a while... he seems fine. A suicide? Really?! Now the police keep coming around. knocking on the door at 2AM to ask questions. Bringin Alex in to the police department for questioning. Pestering Max about what he had seen when they discovered a body. Didnt they understand this was a traumatic even for an 11 year old boy? why keep bringing it up for MAx to keep reliving?! As Family secrets start to come out more, and old personal pasts keep coming up, they soon discover that they are much closer related to Mr. Bryce much more than poor Alex ever even considered .Alex and Millicent's toxic relationship comes to light and left to poor Max to sort out whats really going on. All the while, everyone's still concerned about what really happened to Mr.Bryce If anything this book made me much more grateful for my boring uneventful NOT TOXIC husband. I seriously hugged my husband and told him thanks for being normal several times. Now the main character seemed pretty normal for the most part but he would do some things that would be completely left field.Now the wife.... dont even get me started. I would have lost it on her several times and Alex was so damn passive it just aggravated me!! In the start of the book i really liked Max. He was a super great kiddo.By the end of the book i was absolutely was appalled and couldnt belive Alex didnt slap him around agood bit. I mean a complete character flip. the character development in thus book was so crazy and surprising. The ending was sort of shocking.
In “A Line of Blood” we meet a small family living in North London. Some would call them yuppies. Alex Mercer, a Scot, is a television producer. His wife Millicent, an ex-pat American, writes self-help books. They try their best to live their life and provide good parenting for their son who is an intelligent and precocious eleven year-old named Max. Alex and Millicent did not have a ‘usual’ beginning, but rather almost a marriage of convenience. After a ‘hook-up’ and instant physical attraction, Millicent – a California girl – stays in London to be with Alex. Because she is from the States, the only way she can legally stay and work in England is to marry. After fifteen years of marriage Alex has never met Millicent’s parents. They had muddled along nicely until they lose a baby, a girl, named Sarah. Both grieve, but Millicent has a breakdown of sorts – and their son Max is so traumatized that his and his mother’s relationship is forever changed. In fact the entire family dynamic is forever changed. When Alex follows his son into the next-door neighbor’s yard in chase of their cat, what they discover will change and scar them even further. They find their neighbor dead in the bath. Fearful for the mental trauma that seeing a dead body might have on his son, Alex thinks that is the worst that can happen… but that is only the tip of the iceberg. The police find a bracelet that belongs to Millicent in the neighbor’s house – beneath the bed… The police request that Alex “help them with their inquiries”. Betrayals, arrests, psychological counseling, adultery, suspicion, and domestic violence are all results of their discovery. Life will never be the same for the family Alex calls his ‘little tribe’. How the neighbor came to meet his demise drives the story and the reader is compelled to discover the who, the why, and the how it will change lives. “The line of blood” differs from most other psychological thrillers in that the narrative is told solely from the male point of view via the character of Alex. All the characters depicted in the novel were fully-fleshed out and very believable. Written with an empathetic voice and an understanding of human nature, this is a debut novel that packs a punch. It is equally disturbing and compelling. I would highly recommend it to all lovers of mystery and suspense. Ben McPhersonI always wonder about the author’s reasons for choosing a specific title. In this case I can only assume that he is referring to the protagonist’s family ‘line’ and how violent death seems to visit each generation.
3.5 A Line of Blood is Ben McPherson's debut novel. Alex Mercer and his eleven year old son Max are trying to retrieve their cat when it runs into a neighbour's yard and then through his backdoor. Hesitating, Alex calls out. When there's no answer he enters and chases the cat upstairs. Mistake. The neighbour is home and in the bathtub. But - he's dead - an apparent suicide. However, the police have questions and decide to open an investigation. And as they question Alex, his wife Millicent and even Max, it appears that each member of the Mercer family is keeping secrets. There is a unsettling tone in the dialogue and actions of the main characters. Something is decidedly 'off' with this family. The reader is kept off kilter as pieces of the past are revealed. McPherson uses foreshadowing to great effect. The current story is just as unpredictable and well, jarring. I was caught up in the uncertainty of what had really happened to the neighbour. I had my suspicions..... This is the kind of book I love - twisty, turny psychological thrillers. But....I (really) didn't like the characters at all. Now, I know this is not a prerequisite to enjoying a novel. But as the story progressed, I truly questioned whether a couple would tolerate each other's behavior in order to preserve 'their little tribe.' And if they should even be allowed to keep their child. That being said, the publisher's blurb includes the following - "A Line of Blood explores what it means to be a family—the ties that bind us, and the lies that can destroy us if we're not careful." Still, I thought it stretched credulity. But I never considered putting the book down. That off kilter uncertainty kept me turning pages to the end reveal. My suspicions on 'whodunit' were proven correct - it's fairly well telegraphed. But I was left with my own uncertainty - I enjoyed the book, but not as much as I wanted to. I think I went in expecting more suspense, less character study. Still, I would pick up McPherson's next book.