Sam Bloch, a lieutenant with the MPDC Major Narcotics Branch, who is also a mid-level HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force) comes to Marty Singer after he suspects a serial killer is murdering cops, one of them Bloch's team member. Nobody in Bloch's department thinks the case worth investigating. Being stonewalled, Bloch asks Marty's favor to gather information and do the legwork for him...
Blueblood is the second book featuring Marty Singer, a retired MPDC homicide detective. I thought this was definitely more solid than the first book -- and more balanced between the investigation/mystery as well as Marty's health issue. I really don't mind about Marty's cancer plot, because that's the one that draws me into Marty in the first place. However, in the first book, Marty's chemo also somehow puts the investigation into a halt several times over, which for me, interrupts the pace of the action. Also, the 'alternate' chapters (which shows a different third person perspectives in italic) don't reveal big clues until the right moment (unlike in the first book).
As a character, I really like Marty. Marty doesn't push the boundaries, going into lone-wolf, don't care about the rules kind of guy. Sometimes when it comes to gritty mystery with homicide detectives or PIs, the protagonists fall into hard-ass guys territory. Not Marty though. I think it's because he's a good cop with thirty years of experience on the department -- in addition to being saddled with cancer. So he does thing rationally, trying to cross the edge a little bit when gathering evidence, but never overboard.
I also love Marty's relationship with Amanda -- the daughter of a murder victim first appeared in the first book. She has become like a daughter for Marty and I think she's a very good influence in Marty's life. Marty seems lacking in that family department, so I'm glad that Amanda fills that space. I see few reviewers think that a hint of romance will help humanizes Marty more, but I beg to differ. I think the romance in the first book is not a believable story line and doesn't fit with the mystery -- at least for me. At this moment, I feel happy enough if I see more Amanda and father-daughter moment with Marty. So unless there's a good basis for romance, I don't mind if Marty sticks with just Amanda for a while.
I don't really care about the gang issues though -- and that's probably the only thing that stops me from rating this higher. I like the mystery, and the idea of a serial killer behind the cops' death. I like the twist in the revelation as well. But the whole gang issue itself, I really don't care about them.
The book is provided by Thomas & Mercer publishing via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.