Book review: Innocent Blood

PD JamesIf you are a PD James fan, I should say up front that Innocent Blood is very different from the Adam Dalgliesh detective series. It is a psychological thriller, a slow-building mystery which starts with little steps then, as the odd details start to make sense, the tension builds. It is the story of a young woman who knows she is adopted, who exercises her right to know the names of her birth parents, and finds something she never in a million years expected.

Philippa Palfrey is 18, about to go up to Cambridge, until she decides to find out the truth of her adoption. Her birth father is dead, her mother though is still alive. Philippa’s adoptive father warns caution, tells her to do her research and think carefully before contacting her mother but Philippa, driven by the need to know who she is and where she came from, goes ahead anyway. With the arrogance and naivety of youth, she embarks on a complicated path full of moral dilemma, tragedy and loss.

It is a novel of family blood and relationships, violence, redemption, revenge and acceptance. Is there a threat, real or imagined, and where/who does that threat come from? As the story progresses, that threat advances and retreats, reforming in another shape. Is Philippa right, or should she have listened to Maurice’s warnings?

Try PD James’ outstanding Adam Dalgliesh detective series, starting with the first, Cover Her Face. Read my review here.

If you like ‘Innocent Blood’, try:-
‘The Ice House’ by Minette Walters
‘A Dark-Adapted Eye’ by Barbara Vine [pen name of Ruth Rendell]
‘Black Sheep’ by Susan Hill

‘Innocent Blood’ by PD James [UK: Faber] Buy at Amazon

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
INNOCENT BLOOD by PD James http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1Yi #bookreview via @SandraDanby