Sunday, May 20, 2007

'Matters of the Blood' by Maria Lima

ISBN: 0809557908
Format: Paperback, 282pp
Publisher: Juno Books
Price: $12.95

Keria Kelly is not your average girl. For one she isn’t human, sure she looks it, but in reality far from it. What is she exactly? Well she has not found out yet. She could be anything; a shape shifter, a clairvoyant, a mind reader, or a healer. Until her body decides, she gets to enjoy a little bit of everything.

Keria belongs to a clan of ‘others’ and her extended family is large, with her grandmother at the head bossing everyone around. This, among other reasons, is why Keria is in Rio Seco a quiet little town in Texas Hill Country. Keria is playing babysitter to her human cousin Marty, the outcast in her supernatural family.

Things seem to be on a normal course until two mutilated deer show up at a resort ranch on the outskirts of town. Keria, as part of her change, has been having graphic dreams about the deer and is horrified to learn that they are not just dreams. When Marty calls her and tells her he has to speak to her urgently concerning family business, Keria gets a little worried.

As is Keria didn’t have enough to worry about, an old flame rolls back into town. Sheriff Carlton Larson is investigating the dead deer and a possible connection to Marty. When he questions Keria it is not all business and Keria tries her best to stop his advances. But the Sheriff is not the only possible love interest here. Adam Walker, owner of the resort ranch, is also walking straight out of Keria’s past and he is a temptation that is harder to resist.

So what used to be a small quiet town turns out to be anything but. The mystery that soon takes over Keria’s life is engrossing and quickly snowballs to something much larger than just two dead deer. Her favorite brother Tucker shows up to complicate matters all the more, and her wise-cracking best friend Bea provides some comic relief.

Matters of the Blood is a great page-turner from first-time novelist Maria Lima. Her characters are believable, lively: likeable, or dislikeable in some cases. The interaction is lifelike and often grin-worthy. As of yet there is not a guaranteed continuation of Keria’s story but I will be the first one to pick up one up if it appears.

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