‘In The Blood’ by Ruth Mancini

In the Blood by [Mancini, Ruth]

In southeast London, a young mother has been accused of an unthinkable crime: poisoning her own child – and then leaving him to die.

The mother, Ellie, is secretive and challenging – she’s had a troubled upbringing – but does that mean she’s capable of murder?

Balancing the case with raising her disabled five-year-old son, criminal defence lawyer Sarah Kellerman sets out in desperate pursuit of the truth. But when her own child becomes unwell, Sarah realises she’s been drawn into a dangerous game.


My Review

The synopsis of this book really did intrigue me and I just knew that this was one book I had to read as a matter of urgency.  I have never read anything written by Ruth Mancini before and so I opened the front cover with some excitement.  I was not to be disappointed and I really, really enjoyed reading it but more about that in a bit.

Sarah Kellermen is one of those characters that on the surface seems to have everything- she has a job, she has a career, she is successful and she has a child.  However underneath Sarah is barely holding it together.  She is having issues at work with people complaining that she isn’t taking an equal share of the workload, she is constantly on the phone to her son’s nursery and that she turns up when she feels like it.  Sarah’s son is disabled although the nature of his disability is not immediately apparent.  Sarah does develop a certain amount of paranoia and thinks that people have it in for her.  Sarah is given a case that she gets her teeth into.  A baby has been poisoned and has had a medical tube taken out and both hospital staff and police think that the baby’s mother is the culprit as she was the only one anywhere seen going into the room.  As soon as Sarah gets the case, her mind begins to whirr and she immediately seems to believe in her client’s innocence. I think that Sarah becomes obsessed with the case because the mother and baby are in a similar situation to herself and they are both parents of an ill baby and they often feel that they are struggling or swimming against the tide.  Sarah is determined to get to the truth.  Sarah’s son falls ill and Sarah realises that she has been drawn into a dangerous game.  Just what is the truth?  Who tampered with the baby’s medical equipment?  Will Sarah manage to solve the case and save her job?  Will Sarah’s son recover?  Well for the answers to those questions and more you are just going to have to read the book for yourselves to find out as I am not going to tell you.

As soon as I picked up the book, I was hooked.  The storyline appealed to me on so many levels and especially regarding the safeguarding aspect.  I used to work in safeguarding and I regularly came across cases where children were injured and the parents were suspected.  All the way through the book, I found myself looking for clues, reassessing the evidence and thinking up other possible explanations.  I ended up in knots at times.  I loved all the legal aspects of the book too.  The author is a criminal lawyer and she has drawn on her many years of experience, which makes the book even more authentic. I became seriously addicted to this book and I just had to keep reading on and on and on because I needed to know what had really happened.  This is one of those books that certainly kept me guessing.  On more than one occasion I smugly thought that I had fathomed out what had really happened only to be sent down another path entirely.  Reading ‘In The Blood’ was one heck of a rollercoaster ride with many twists and turns and moments where you just want to stick your hands over your eyes because you genuinely fear what is going to happen or what is on the next page.

In conclusion, I really did enjoy reading ‘In The Blood’ and I can’t wait to read what comes next from this fab author.  Whilst I wait for her next book I will content myself with reading her previous books.  I would recommend this book to others.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a well deserved 4* out of 5*.

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