Blood Will Tell by Heather Chavez

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Blood Will Tell by Heather Chavez
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Schoolteacher and single mom Frankie Barrera has always been fiercely protective of her younger sister Izzy—whether Izzy wants her to be or not. But over the years, Izzy’s risky choices have tested Frankie’s loyalty. Never so much as on a night five years ago, when a frantic phone call led Frankie to the scene of a car accident—and a drunk and disoriented Izzy who couldn’t remember a thing.

Though six friends partied on the outskirts of town that night, one girl was never seen again . . .

Now, an AMBER alert puts Frankie in the sights of the local police. Her truck has been described as the one used in the abduction of a girl from a neighboring town. And the only other person with access to Frankie’s truck is Izzy.

This time around, Frankie will have to decide what lengths she’s willing to go to in order to protect Izzy—what lies she’s willing to tell, and what secrets she’s willing to keep—because the dangerous game that six friends once played on a warm summer night isn’t over yet . . .

I liked this book, I really did.

The short chapters are mainly told from Frankie (Francisca) Barrera’s point of view. There’s suspense and secrets. When drugs and alcohol are involved, it’s bound to impair one’s memory, right? There’s a very strong family support system. I enjoyed the author’s writing style which made for an easy read. There were several plot twists that I didn’t see coming. The dual timeline that explained just enough of what happened the night Rachel went missing to keep me interested. The story had a good ending that explained everything.

I can say that Frankie is a compassionate, and unselfish woman with more than expected mechanical skills. I’d say she’s also courageous, but I don’t necessarily see her as a strong woman that I can relate to. Frankie and her younger sister Izzy come from a two-parent home that seemingly had a happy environment, conducive to a favorable upbringing. I truly understand the need for Frankie to help her younger sister and the desire to protect her. However, Frankie’s overbearing investigative sister skills overshadow Izzy and enables her.

An AMBER alert puts Frankie in a questionable position with the local police. Her truck has been described as the one used in the abduction of Marina Wagner, and the only other person with access to Frankie’s truck is her sister, Izzy. Frankie is a middle school teacher, and since it’s summer I guess she has time to clear her and her sister’s name. As Frankie investigates Marina’s kidnapping, she also gets closer to finding out what happened five years ago when Rachel disappeared. Parts of the story were bogged down and almost made it difficult to stick with. Izzy seemed to be a spoiled woman child who was confident in her sister’s loyalty to her. Maybe I overlooked it, but I don’t recall what Izzy did for a living.

There are several things that I didn’t like about the story–things that I noticed and tried to tune out so that I could focus on the main parts. Marina went to grief camp at the age of 12, when her sister went missing. Her sister was recently found, Marina is now 17. I found the relationship between Marina and her mother strange, and to send her daughter to grief camp when there was no proof her older daughter was deceased. Lastly, the local police or FBI did little investigating into Marina’s kidnapping, but Frankie found two people and solved the case in a week.

Three hundred pages in Izzy finds her voice and tells Frankie that she’s been taking responsibility by volunteering, getting a job, her own place and she even went to talk to the police and yet Frankie still treats her as a child. In my opinion, this sister duo definitely is dysfunctional and should seek counseling. Frankie needs to get a life and apply with the local police force as a detective. As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I think after the heart pounding action scene and big reveal at the end, the sisters may have stumbled their way towards an evolving adult relationship.

Even though I had some minor issues with the story, overall it was a good and entertaining read for me. I would definitely read more from this author because I do like her talent for telling a story and not only that, this was a creative plot with many unforeseen twists.

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