Thursday, June 11, 2015

ARC Review: Blood Will Tell by April Henry

Blood Will Tell
Author: April Henry
Series: Point Last Seen, Book 2
Publication: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (June 16, 2015)

Description: When a woman's body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward kid who lives only a few blocks away, a teen who collects knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and obsessively doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of Portland's Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick's name before it's too late?

April Henry weaves another page-turning, high stakes mystery in Blood Will Tell, Book 2 of the Point Last Seen series.

My Thoughts: Nick, Alexis, and Ruby - the kids from The Body in the Woods - are back and this time the case they are called in on is right in their backyard. Actually, it is six block's from Nick's house.

After coming home from an urban search for a lost 7-year-old, Nick is surprised to wake up to the sound of sirens and to receive a SAR call to search for evidence. A guy biking to work has found a young woman named Lucy who was stabbed and left to die. She dies on the way to the hospital and the SAR team is called in to search for evidence.

The night before, the 7-year-old was hit by a car because she ran when she heard the team calling for her. Nick, Alexis, and Ruby were right there. When Nick sees her compound fracture, the sight of her blood makes him vomit. He is embarrassed because it doesn't fit the macho image that he would like to have. He has joined SAR to get the experience he hopes will help him when he joins the Armed Forces as soon as he is old enough. He wants to be like his father who won a medal before he died in Afghanistan when Nick was four. His mother is very much opposed to Nick's ambition.

A DNA test on the stabbing victim shows markers that indicate that Nick is the killer. All of a sudden, the homicide detective that he has worked with before is suspicious of him. Only Alexis and Ruby are convinced that Nick had nothing to do with it. Nick thinks it might be his older brother Kyle because Kyle wasn't home when Nick got back after finding the child. In the course of the investigation, Nick learns that his father is alive and is in prison for murder. Nick is getting hit with all sorts of life-changing stuff between being accused of murder and finding out that his father wasn't dead.

Luckily, Ruby is the kind of person she is. She is sure Nick didn't kill anyone and is determined to figure out how his DNA got on the murder victim.

This story is told from a variety of viewpoints including that of the actual murderer. I liked the way the  clues were revealed. I liked all the information about DNA and how it is used to find criminals. I also liked how the friendship between the three kids is growing as they get to know each other better.

This was an excellent mystery for middle graders and young adults.

Favorite Quote:
"I didn't tell you he was dead." Her face was pale. "I just didn't correct you."

"Then why did you bother to let me know the truth about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny?" Nick's voice rose and he didn't try to rein it in. "You let me know the truth about everything except my dad. It was like poor little Nick, let him stay in his make- believe world." He made a sound like a laugh. "No wonder we never go visit any family. Because they might actually tell me the truth. My whole fricking life has been a lie. I wanted to be like him." He leaned down so he was in her face. "I wanted to be like him, and now that's exactly what they think I am."
I got this ARC from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

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