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Blood Guilt (Steel City #1)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  638 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Can you ever atone for killing someone?

Four years ago, Detective Inspector Harlan Miler killed a man in a drunken fight. Now - divorced, alone, consumed by guilt - the world outside his prison walls holds little for him. Until, mere days after his release, an eight-year-old boy is abducted. Ethan Reed. The son of the man he killed.

Frustrated by a police search that finds n
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 5th 2013 by Head of Zeus (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 25, 2016 Emma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good premise, but the whole thing was overwrought and obvious.
Dec 27, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Sheffield Finally Got Interesting

Blood Guilt by Ben Cheetham the debut novel from Sheffield is a gritty, sometimes dark and brooding crime thriller. This book in a way reminded me of the American use of an anti-hero who wants to put right the things he has done wrong and that is what marks this out as a different sort of crime novel. Our anti-hero of this novel is the former Detective Inspector Harlan Miller who also happens to be now an ex-con with no future and more baggage than one person can
Lynda Kelly
Mar 16, 2012 Lynda Kelly rated it really liked it
This was a great tale. It's about a cop whose life starts going very wrong after the sudden death of his little boy. He splits with his wife and takes to drinking and in a bar fight one night he punches a guy and the guy dies so he's convicted of manslaughter. The man he killed had 2 little boys.
After he's released one of the boys is kidnapped and the wife comes to him to ask his help in finding him. He's always felt horribly guilty leaving 2 kids without a father so he agrees to assist her. It
Best Crime Books & More
Jun 19, 2012 Best Crime Books & More rated it really liked it
This book is one that has been on my ‘to read’ list for a while and for some reason kept getting pushed to the back of the pile. Thankfully, I got myself organised and dug out all the stuff I have been meaning to read and I am very glad that I did. I read so many crime, thriller and mystery books that it’s hard to see where one ends and another begins. Typically, I have my favourite authors that never seem to fail, and the writers that have been producing books for years that never seem to fail. ...more
Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
I had never heard about the author Ben Cheetham until I was sent a link to this book on amazon by a friend of mine. On reading the book's short description I was immediately intrigued and wanted to read it.

Four years ago the life of D.I. Harlan Miller changed for ever. He involuntarily caused the death of father of two Robert Reed and was sent to jail on manslaughter charges.

Now, four years later Harlan is released from prison. He is a broken man, divorced, without any scope in life and suffoca
Feb 12, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
This might change, I'm close to the end of this book. The story is intriguing and does keep you reading, but the writing style is often over-blown and a little annoying. The main character makes me want to find somebody to shake, and when he gets in to lines and lines of his untouchable guilt I find myself skipping to the next page.
Dec 18, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Why do these ex-cops trying to solve horrible crimes always have to have a troubled past, usually involving the death of their child? This was distinctly average crime thriller with an unlikeable hero and some kidnapped children. A crime book like a paint by numbers picture, I'm afraid.
Dylan Edwards
Sep 07, 2016 Dylan Edwards rated it really liked it
A roller-coaster of a read ...though it 'loses' its way slightly in the middle I still thought it deserved a 4 star rating

Worth a read for sure
Feb 20, 2012 AmbushPredator rated it really liked it
Interesting novel - a little unpolished, very bleak, but keeps you turning the pages, wanting to know what happened!
Jessica Warland
May 03, 2016 Jessica Warland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a quick read and I'm ordering the next two as I write. It doesn't have the "who done it" and shocking twist that I love but I grew very attached to the characters.
Nov 29, 2016 Sean rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
This was quite a good book and a fairly good story centering around a broken policeman who was given a second chance after killing a man.

Harlan goes from the hard life he has had to the present and all the frustrations in between.

It was well executed and the writer has done really well to bring all the action and suspense into a thoroughly entertaining read.

Will read some more from this author.
Ms Rachel Bolsover
A gripping book

Ben Cheetham is a brilliant writer and keeps me hooked from beginning to end. The characters come alive and it's like your actually a part of the story and a character watching from the sidelines. Can't wait to read more
Nov 16, 2016 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As well a guilt, DI Harlan Miller feels anger, despair and a need for retribution and restitution. Dark thriller.
Cheryl M-M
Aug 06, 2012 Cheryl M-M rated it it was amazing
This writer knows how to wrap a story round the solid core of societys issues and expose them for what the truly are. The main character Harlan has just been released from prison for manslaughter, whilst trying to absolve his guilt to the victims widow her young son is kidnapped. What better way to right his wrong by helping to find him, and so he starts upon his journey of vigilantism. That's the concept in a nutshell, but the true facets of this story lie within the folds of facts. Pedophilia ...more
Oct 01, 2011 Sonia rated it really liked it
DI Harlan Miller’s life is all getting too much, his young son has died in a freak accident and his marriage is on the rocks – causing him to hit the booze. Rather than helping him forget his problems, it lands him in an even worse situation that results in him in prison on a manslaughter charge.

When he gets out, he’s lost everything apart from the friendship of his former partner on the job and is falling into despair…and then the youngest son of the man he killed is abducted, and suddenly he h
Darren Sant
Oct 24, 2011 Darren Sant rated it it was amazing
This is the first novel I have read by Ben Cheetham and it won't be the last. Blood Guilt is a cracking page turner of a thriller. I found it well written, suspenseful and above all believable. Cheetham whilst cranking up the tension never once over does it. The dialogue is snappy, clever and again totally believable.

Blood Guilt is, I feel, as well as being an excellent story an exploration into the what if. By this I mean what if your own life turned to crap due to one event? What if you had no
Yolanda Davis
Mar 24, 2014 Yolanda Davis rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. Harlan is a detective from Sheffield; his young son has just died and he and his wife Eve are struggling to keep their relationship together when, deep down, he blames Eve for the boys death. The night she decides to pack her bags and leave him he goes out to drown his sorrows;gets into a drunken fight and with just one punch his life is forever changed.Charged with manslaughter he is sentenced to four years; he spends those years hating himself for killing a man; taking ...more
Steven Kay
Oct 21, 2015 Steven Kay rated it really liked it
Shelves: sheffield-novels
Novelists are entertainers, the main competition is other forms of entertainment. What they are trying to achieve is to get someone to spend a few pounds and then dedicate six to ten hours of their valuable time to reading their words rather than switching on the television, playing games on their tablet, going out to the pub, or one of the other multitude of things in modern life. Blood Guilt is certainly strong on entertainment value — you could well describe it as action-packed. The main ...more
Victoria Watson
Oct 09, 2011 Victoria Watson rated it really liked it
DI Harlan Miller's life is spiralling out of control. He and his wife are failing to conceive, he's drinking too much and his career is in jeopardy. But things get even worse one night in a pub - one punch leaves him in jail for manslaughter, his career and his marriage over.

On his release, four years later, Harlan feels life holds nothing for him. His wife is engaged, he has no job and he is wracked with guilt over the accident that changed his life forever. All he wants to do is make amends to
Peter Carroll
Nov 04, 2012 Peter Carroll rated it liked it
This thriller by Ben Cheetham was a bit of a mixed bag for me - much like the last book of his I read. I liked it but I felt like I could have loved it with a few tweaks.

It tells the story of a detective who loses his son and then, in an alcoholic rage, accidentally kills a man. The rest of the book deals with how he tries to atone for this by trying to resolve a couple of cases involving child abduction.

The best thing about this book is the plot, which is well contstructed and contains a couple
Samantha Curtis
Feb 03, 2015 Samantha Curtis rated it it was amazing
This was my first book I read by Ben cheetman and I am really impressed.

I really loved reading this book. I really couldn't put it down and when I had to I was gutted lol

I had to feel for Harlan. He lost his son his marriage at breaking point through grieving

Harlan gets drunk and ends up punched Robert and killing him now harken serves his time and wants to make it up to Susan the wife of Robert.

Susan has no of it and threatens him to stay away.
Harlem has his break to finally make it up to S
Mar 01, 2015 Paul rated it liked it
I was confused with this story to begin with. Was this set in the UK or the US, especially as the main character was called Harlan.

It soon came to light that the story was set in the UK and Harlan was a cop with a major problem. His son had died, his relationship with his wife was failing and he had a serious drink problem that caused him to kill a man.

Fast forward four years and Harlan was released from prison and not dealing well with the situation. He then discovers that the son of the man he
Jun 09, 2012 Eddie rated it really liked it
A very pacy page turner with a plot that has a good few twists and turns. The underlying theme (without giving too much away; ex-cop convicted of manslaughter searches for the abducted child of the woman who's husband he killed) will have everybody rooting for him to succeed and then may find themselves unwittingly advocating vigilantism!!
Some may say that the methods used and their outcomes would never happen real life. Well this isn't. It's a work of fiction and a pretty decent one at that.
Jan 06, 2015 Terena rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
I hardly ever read crime fiction, but I was alerted to this as a) it was set in Sheffield and b) it was 98p on E-book. Now I don't know enough about this genre to say whether the story was credible or not, as some of Harlan' actions were rather incredible, bearing in mind he was given the go ahead for a couple of actions by a former colleague in CID!!! But I really got into it, and couldn't wait to get back into it to find what was going to happen next, and of course hoping that Ethan would be ...more
Jay Gormley
Jan 19, 2015 Jay Gormley rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Simon Perkins
Feb 05, 2013 Simon Perkins rated it it was ok
This feels like reading The Dail Mail. The baddies are as bad as can be and it is a wonder that our hero can possibly withhold from killing them in the name of justice/revenge that in no way would be frowned upon by anyone else in the book. The main antagonist is your standard workaholic, married-to-the-job insufferable policeman. His love interest is even more long-suffering than usual and never seemingly minds or cares how many times he lets her down and ignores, upsets or abandons her, always ...more
Apr 23, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Harlan Miller is s broken man. He was a promising DI until he killed a man. After serving 4 years in prison he is released and wants to simultaneously punish himself and provide compensation for the dead man's family. However, this turns out to be more complicated than he thought as the dead man's son is abducted. Miller decides to use his police training to set about finding Ethan especially as he is no longer bound by police rules.

I really enjoyed this book and read it in two sittings. It was
This is a British crime thriller written in the American style - so much so that it took me a little while to work our whether it was set in the UK or the US. It's set in the UK, but it could really be anywhere as there isn't very much focus on the setting or the impact of a particular town on the characters. The language used isn't particularly British either and the lead character is called Harlan so it has a definite American vibe about it.

It felt to me like a workmanlike thriller which strai
Balthazar Lawson
Jan 26, 2014 Balthazar Lawson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of a man, Harlan Miller, seeking the atonement he needs to be able to live again. Without it he is unable move past the wrong he has done, not just the unintentional killing of man but the ruining of the family left behind. He was a policeman, now he is just a shell of man willing to do what is needed to make amends. He is asked to find a missing boy, Ethan, the son of the man he killed, and his quest takes into some dark shadows of human behaviour.

There is a lot of self examin
Gail Williams
Mar 29, 2014 Gail Williams rated it liked it
This wasn't the easiest thing I ever read, not because of the writer, it was well written and in a style and of a pace the moved well, but I found some of the themes quite unpalatable (having a blond son may have something to do with that even if he is now 20, over 6 foot tall and dies his hair black - a mother never forgets).

I did enjoy this, felt it was about the right length for the topic and the characters, though at times the internalisation was a little over top, not much, didn't spoil th
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Kindle English My...: Blood Guilt by Ben Cheetham 4 8 Feb 27, 2015 12:13AM  
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Ben Cheetham is an award-winning writer and Pushcart Prize nominee. His writing spans the genres, from horror and sci-fi to literary fiction, but he has a passion for dark, gritty crime fiction. His short stories have been published in Swill Magazine, The Fiction Desk, Deadcore (Comet Press), The London Magazine, The Willisden Herald New Short Stories 3, The Grist Anthology of New Writing, Dream ...more
More about Ben Cheetham...

Other Books in the Series

Steel City (3 books)
  • Angel of Death (Steel City #2)
  • Justice for the Damned (Steel City, #3)

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