About the Book:
Against Blood by Jack King is the second of his mystery series that has Detective Cliff Husto on the case. This time, Detective Husto is faced with a web of conspiracies and vendettas entangling Desert Storm veterans suffering from PTSD, a group of Islamic college students on the path to radicalization, and hard-line racist American nationalists.
Just like Beyond Blood, Jack King’s first Detective Cliff Husto novel, Against Blood’s first few chapters introduce a lot of characters in a lot of settings, so Detective Husto readers need to be alert. However, after the first few chapters, it becomes clear that all of these characters in all of these settings are connected, and in this case, are all set in Houston, Texas.
As much as I enjoyed Jack’s first book, Beyond Blood, I was delighted to see improvements in Jack’s writing in Against Blood. Where I struggled to care about the characters in his first novel, there were certain characters in this story that I understood, cared for and rooted for right from the start. Of course, there were also a couple characters that I wanted to see get what was coming to them.
Just as in Jack King’s first Detective Husto novel, Against Blood kept me turning pages and held me in suspense as I tried to determine who the murderer was before reaching the end of the book.
One of my favorite things about Jack’s Detective Husto novels is that they have short chapters that are fast paced, and each one leaves the reader wanting more. Each lures the reader to keep reading. I’d reach the end of a chapter and think, “aw, the chapters are short. I have time for one more,” which then became one more and one more and one more.
I have to admit, there were times where I caught myself holding my breath as I read and waited to see what was going to happen in the suspenseful scene I was fully engaged in. Jack kept me guessing as to who the killer was almost to the very end. I changed my mind a couple times as new evidence seemed to point to someone else – exactly the kind of mystery I enjoy most.
I will caution readers that there is some profanity sprinkled in parts of the book, and of course, there is violence. However, the violence isn’t graphic or overdone. It is tastefully done.
If you enjoy a good, fast-paced, suspenseful mystery and a likeable, intelligent detective on the case, you will enjoy Jack King’s Detective Husto stories. Either story can be read alone and it doesn’t really matter which one you read first.
I give Against Blood 5 stars, and I look forward to more Detective Husto mysteries from Jack King.