A dying century,a killing presence
I am in Blood is a dark and brooding Gothic novel, which, primarily aimed at the YA market, is one of those books which can quite comfortably cross genres.
At its centre, is the riveting story of seventeen year old Nathan, who, in modern day Dublin, is bewildered and confused by the death of his adopted father, and as he struggles to make sense of the world around him, the sense of pain and loss is ever present within him, and dark thoughts seem to overwhelm him. In late nineteenth century Dublin, a murderer is systematically targeting prostitutes who linger in the alleys and doorways of The Munto, a notorious place where despair and degradation often go hand in hand. George Frohmell, a police sergeant in the Dublin Metropolitan Police force, is under extreme pressure to find the perpetrator of these deadly crimes, before too many woman lose their lives. In England in 1846, a strange child seems to delight hurting others and the darkness in his soul is as dangerous as it is deadly.
What then follows is a well thought out Gothic mystery which takes the reader on a journey into the very heart of Victorian Dublin and as the sights, sounds and smells of a teeming city come to life, so the terror at the heart of a community starts to bite. The book is divided into distinct chapters, so that we always know who is speaking and yet, as all the stories start to come together and coalesce, the boundaries start to blur and the edges become less defined and George and Nathan, both troubled in their own way, need to find some sort of resolution.
Overall, the story is quite compelling, dark and dirty in places, with glimpses into the tortured souls of characters who stay with you long after the story is finished. The writing is succinct and quite beautiful and the wonderful use of descriptive language really makes the story come alive in the imagination.
My thanks to Real Readers and Nudge for my copy of this book.