Bleed For Me
By Michael Robotham
Sphere (Hachette India) Rs 295
This book starts off innocuously as any crime fiction might, and then gets right to the business of sucking you in as a reader as any good crime fiction should. Ex-detective Hegarty is found in a pool of blood in his teenage daughter’s bedroom, she is found a distance away covered in his blood. It seems like a clear cut case of the daughter murdering the father, but is it really what it seems. The protagonist, Professor Joe O’Loughlin is the investigating psychologist on the case, and the book is in the first person, told to us by the professor, who is separated from his wife, whom he still loves dearly, and the teenager being held for the murder of her father happens to be his daughter’s friend. Murky details start coming up which start making the picture clearer, new characters keep getting thrown up to throw the reader off track, in the end, the person who has committed the murder is no one the reader would have imagined it to be. Like a good crime story should, the revelation of who the murderer really is comes as a wee bit of a shock and a gasp.
What is interesting is how the author builds the character of the Professor, battling the onset of Parkinson’s disease, battling separation from his wife and daughters, struggling on cases where he is convinced the entire story is not what it seems. Running parallel to this murder is a racist hate crime trial of a boy who is accused of burning an entire family of immigrants to death. There are issues dealt with in the book, issue of psychopathic murderers, issues of self esteem, child vulnerability to predators, and all dealt in a manner that makes them real and plausible. At the end of this book, you just hug your child a little tighter when you put them to bed at night.
Do I recommend you read this book? Yes, if you are into crime fiction, this is one book you definitely must get your hands on. And even if you’re not.