Title/Author: Blood Memory by Greg Iles.
Narrated by: Joyce Bean.
Publisher: Recorded Books.
Favorite Character: Cat Ferry.
Synopsis: Forensic expert "Cat" Ferry has a stellar reputation until a panic attack paralyzes her at a New Orleans murder scene. Praying the attack is a one-time event, she continues working, but when the same killer strikes again -- raising fears that a serial killer is at large -- Cat blacks out over the victim's mutilated corpse. Suspended from the FBI task force, Cat returns to her hometown of Natchez, Mississippi, to regroup. Though her colleagues know her as a world-class forensic odontologist, Cat lives a secret life. Plagued by nightmares, and deeply involved with a married homicide detective, Cat holds herself together with iron nerves and alcohol, using her work as a substitute for life. But her family's secluded antebellum estate provides no sanctuary. When some of Cat's forensic chemicals are spilled in her childhood bedroom, two bloody footprints are revealed. This discovery sets in motion a quest to piece together Cat's past -- buried memories that could tie her father's murder to the grisly deaths occurring in New Orleans in the present. For only by finding this remorseless killer can Cat save her sanity -- and her life. ~Goodreads.com
My Thoughts: This is an intense and detailed murder mystery. In fact, there are two murder mysteries that are featured in Blood Memory that intertwine.
The lead character is Cat Ferry a forensic odontologist who lives in New Orleans. (Yay NOLA, one of the reasons I picked up the book.) I wasn't attached to Cat, and I didn't particularly like her. I did however, admire her and find her very interesting. She is a total train wreck. She has mental issues, personal issues, behavior issues and substance abuse issues. However, she seems pretty put together in spite of all this. The cast of secondary characters were interesting. They were believable from her boyfriend cop, Sean to her new love interest, Michael to her mother and grandfather.
Cat has a little meltdown at a crime scene and flees home to Natchez, Mississippi. Once there she discovers old bloodstains in her childhood bedroom and from there she tries to piece together the night her father died and why. The why is pretty horrific and although I kind of guessed the reason and the culprit and I'm sure you will too, it still did not take away from the intensity. Her father, while not alive in this book has a profound presence in this story felt throughout and part of the mystery is to figure out if he is a villain or a hero.
There is a lot of telling in this book, about odontology, repressed memories, psychology, even free diving. I found it interesting, but must admit it got dry at some points. I have to admit though odontology sounds extremely interesting and I picked up a few facts. I appreciate all the research that went into this story.
Narration: Kat is supposed to be 31, but the "voice" sounded older. Maybe this is ridiculous and age-ist, and I'll accept that. But the point is, I wasn't crazy about the narration. I do however think Joyce Bean did a great job at all the other voices in this production. The men even sounded believable.
There is a lot going on, but it's not hard to follow. I do wonder however, if the story could have been tighter.
A bit of a sidenote. The young man who has now come forward claiming to have been sexually abused by Michael Jackson said that with the birth of his son, a lot of memories came back to him. In this book the same kind of thing happened, which I found interesting.
All in all: A bit predictable. Lagged a bit in some areas, but an interesting thriller about powerful issues.