Blood of My Brother, by James LePore – Book Review

Jay Cassio and Dan Del Colliano have been friends since they were six years old. Sticking together through family upheaval and hardships, each was always a presence in the other’s life. They even occasionally worked together; Dan as a private investigator and Jay as an attorney with his own small practice.  When the wife of a wealthy businessman, whom Jay had been representing in a messy divorce, is killed and beheaded, and Dan is tortured and murdered soon after, Jay is stunned and slow to act.  But soon, he begins to think that the two vicious killings were connected, and finding out who killed Dan is the only thing on his mind.

It’s easy for me to remember how absorbing a read Blood of My Brother, by James LePore turned out to be. It was waiting for me when I returned home after the Thanksgiving holiday, and my intention was to flip through a few pages to get a feel for it, but then I couldn’t put it down because I just had to see what would happen next.  By the next day I had read until I was finished.  Dan isn’t around for very long (he is murdered early on in the book) but the flashbacks showing the development of his relationship  with Jay, went a long way toward showing what great friends they were, and why Jay would push and go the the lengths that he did to try to solve his murder.

The world that Jay gets drawn into is fascinating.  I loved the characters that he meets when he travels to Miami in his investigations.  The mysterious Isabel is also introduced into the mix, and her upbringing in a Mexican orphanage and introduction to the seedier side of life is heartbreaking.  I really felt for the choices that she faced.  My only complaint is that after carefully developing the heart of the story, the conclusion comes all too rapidly, and as a result suffers from some implausibility and an all too neat ending.  Strong characterizations and sense of place made for a compelling read, but a little more detail at the end would have made this a touch more satisfying.

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1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Happy New Year!

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  1. Sounds like an awesome read. This happens to me too, I also read a couple of pages to get the feel of the book and sometimes am hooked right on.

  2. I did that yesterday. I finished The Cypress House, and was trying to decide what to read next, picked up a book called Exposed that I got at SIBA, and finished it in 2 hours. Wow! I love books like that. This is the second great review I’ve seen of this book. Time to make a mental note.

  3. I enjoyed this one in the end, but I think you liked it more than I did. I definitely preferred the author’s previous book, A World I Never Made. I agree with you about the ending. I didn’t mention it in my review because I wanted to avoid any spoilers, but I did find the ending to be too nice and neat for the type of novel it was.

    1. I might at some point check out the other book. The ending was hard for me since I had been drawn into what it had been built, but there was something missing in the payoff.

  4. Sorry to hear that the book started strong but finished a bit weaker. I can’t resist a book that compels me to not put it down though.