Proof: Bloodlines Trilogy Book #1
by Jordyn Redwood
Kregel Publications, 2012
When ER Dr. Lilly Reeves treats a pregnant rape victim after a car accident she has no idea how much they will soon have in common. Lilly becomes the fifth known victim of a serial rapist, and begins a downward spiral of alcohol and prescription drug abuse as she tries to cope with what happened. She soon discovers that she is pregnant as a result of the attack, which puts her in danger once again, as the perpetrator has a history of eliminating his ill-conceived children and their mothers. A chance encounter allows her to identify her rapist beyond a doubt by several unusual physical markers and she thinks her nightmare might be drawing to a close, but there’s just one problem – his DNA is not a match to that left by her attacker.
As the lead on the serial rapist investigation, Detective Nathan Long can’t help but feel he is partially to blame for Lilly’s assault. He believes Lilly is correct about her attacker’s identity, but with no solid proof what can he do? The more he investigates her case and the others in the series, the more he sure that there is much more going on than meets the eye. Can he protect Lilly and her child from the maniac that is trying to harm them even more than he already has? With her attacker in hot pursuit Lilly goes on the run, determined to get to the bottom of this medical mystery and protect the life within her womb, especially as she begins to suspect that in the search for proof, the children are the key.
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Let me just start by saying I LOVED this book. It’s outside my normal genre preference (historical fiction) but I gave it a try because it had great reviews and the whole trilogy was on sale for Kindle for $1.99. I figured even if they were only ok I’d definitely get my moneys worth out of them. It only took me a couple chapters to realize what an incredible deal this was turning out to be. How to describe this book…Christian medical crime drama with a little mystery/suspense/thriller built in as well. The author has been a registered nurse for many years, and her knowledge of medicine and patient care comes across very realistically in this story. Even though you probably won’t understand all of the medical terminology, those details make everything more realistic and interesting. I’ve always been a bit of a science nerd anyway, so I very much enjoyed the medical aspects of Proof.
There is some borderline adult material – the story is built around a serial rapist, after all. But I thought all the issues and investigation that surrounded that storyline were tastefully handled and I don’t think any of it was too graphic. If that is something you are sensitive to, though, this is your trigger warning. The fact that several characters are Christians adds a lot to the discussion surrounding Lilly’s assault and how she can recover from it. The faith of these characters contrasts with Lilly’s beliefs as an atheist and it is something that she struggles with even as she struggles with the aftermath of her attack.
The book is a fast paced page turner with many likable but flawed characters. There are two potential love interests for Lilly that I liked equally well for different reasons. If you’ve read any of my other reviews you might notice that I typically enjoy when the love interest isn’t obvious from the first paragraph, and you do have to wait till the final chapters of this book to identify who Lilly will end up with. I also really appreciated the dialogue. Often the dialogue in contemporary fiction strikes me as contrived or scripted, but everything these characters said seemed like something that an actual person would say in conversation.
Another thing that impressed me was how well the author blended backstory and different strands of plot together to flow so smoothly with so much emotion and suspense. I have already finished the second book in this trilogy (Poison) and have started the third (Peril) and I can tell you this masterful story weaving continues throughout the series. I will also say I think I enjoyed Poison even a little more than Proof, which I enjoyed immensely.
Two thumbs up for Jordyn Redwood’s Bloodlines Trilogy. It was a great diversion from my usual choices and I would recommend it even to those who don’t generally read crime/suspense/mystery books.