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A Matter Of Blood (The Dog-Faced Gods #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  551 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
On the hunt for a serial killer, vengeful DI Cass Jones uncovers a dark supernatural conspiracy.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published February 2011 by Gollancz (first published March 18th 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Jun 07, 2013 Bandit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a huge Sarah Pinborough fan for years now, but all I've read is her Leisure published horror. I was aware of this trilogy, but not until now, not until Ace brought them over stateside (with some gorgeous cover art) and to a local library was able to check them out. This book, the first in trilogy, was well worth the wait and completely lived up to my expectations. Set in the future so near and so dark and so very believable, this reads like an intense serial killer police procedural (w ...more
Liz Barnsley
May 10, 2013 Liz Barnsley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well Sarah Pinborough has done it again hasnt she? Wow. Loved this book and its highly entertaing. And a bit dark. As I'm in a dark place occasionally at the moment I really did go with the flow right along with it. There is the Supernatural touch but mostly its just a great story. In a time when recession has left the world in a very dark place,everyone owes "The Bank". Cass Jones, detective, has his own worries. Two boys dead after a shooting and the pesky serial killer known as the "man of fl ...more
Jon Recluse
Jun 09, 2013 Jon Recluse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
An engaging example of supernatural noir set in an economically ruined London of the near future. Mysteries chase enigmas as the story unfolds, keeping the suspense high and even the most jaded mystery lover guessing.
An excellent start to what will no doubt be a must read series.
Tudor Ciocarlie
Apr 01, 2011 Tudor Ciocarlie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent blend between soft apocalypse, crime noir, urban fantasy, horror and new weird. A very good read. And the cliches are not cliches in the end.
Ranting Dragon
Mar 29, 2011 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: caleigh

A Matter of Blood is the first installment in Sarah Pinborough’s Dog-Faced Gods trilogy, a heart-pounding mix of horror and crime fiction, with a dash of good old speculative fiction thrown in. Cass Jones is a bitter Detective Investigator for the London police force, where every officer quietly takes kickbacks from the local mobsters as a matter of course. Cass’s marriage is falling apart, he’s haunted by a nasty history, and he’s got a bit of a drug habi
Yolanda Sfetsos
Jan 01, 2011 Yolanda Sfetsos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in The Dog-Faced Gods Trilogy, and I consider myself very lucky to have gotten an ARC.

Detective Inspector Cass Jones lives in London. In a world where the financial situation is so bad that most people (including the police) accept bribes from someone. It's a hard place to live, and is made even harder by a huge financial institution known only as the Bank. The Bank pretty much calls the shots, all around the world. Everyone's doing it tough, but Cass has a knack for troub
David Agranoff

This is one of those reviews where I have to be careful of hyperbole. Each year I read a novel by an author I have never read before that knocks my socks off. This novel was the 2012 entry and thankfully there are two more books in this trilogy. This British import is trying to find a north American publisher and there are rumors that Penguin is releasing them under the title Forgotten Gods. Personally if you like original horror and speculative fiction specifically Dystopias, serial killer nove
Terry Weyna
Mar 24, 2014 Terry Weyna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sarah Pinborough makes it clear from the first page of her prologue in A Matter of Blood that we’ll be seeing plenty of blood — and worse. The novel opens on the scene of a corpse squirming with maggots. An unnamed man stands in the doorway and declares that “This has to stop,” but the noise of the flies only grows louder. It seems, though, that the man is talking to someone — not to the corpse, not to himself, not even to the flies, though maybe he is speaking to someone through the flies. And ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

DI Cass Jones isn’t a perfect man. In fact, he’s been known to take “payments” from certain local “businessmen”, has what he calls a cocaine “hobby”, and in spite of being married, can’t seem to stay away from the opposite sex. He is, however, a very, very good policeman, and when he picks up a fellow cop’s murder cases, one in particular has him stymied. The 4th victim in what they now know is the work of a serial killer
Jul 14, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first novel in The Dog-Faced Gods trilogy, and rather defies classification by genre. It could fit quite comfortably in the crime section of a bookstore, or the horror section, and the dystopian near-future setting where The Bank controls governments places it squarely on the sci-fi shelves. The result is a novel that scares and thrills in equal measure. Sarah Pinborough acknowledges the influences of Michael Marshall Smith in his crime thriller guise as Michael Marshall, and I could ...more
Aug 26, 2016 Justin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Back in my college days, I distinctly recall one of my English professors saying to me, "Did you ever think about what this story would be like, without the monster?" In my case, the answer is not much of a story--or at least, not a very interesting one. Monsters, spirits, futuristic technology and the like are just intrinsic to the kinds of stories I write. But the more I read of A Matter of Blood, the more his words kept coming back to me--because I think that in this instance, they make a muc ...more
With a tone and style that is almost an homage to Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus, Sarah Pinborough has created a bleak, dour, and insidiously captivating not-too-distant future of corruption and grime for her broken hero, DI Cass Jones. Were this a simple labyrinthine crime story it would have been enough but Pinborough has woven an engrossing supernatural thread throughout the plot, setting the stage for the rest of what the (American)cover calls "The Forgotten Gods Trilogy." While the 2 sides of ...more
John Gwynne
Mar 20, 2013 John Gwynne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this. A great mix of hard-boiled noir, police procedural and the supernatural. Found the characters interesting, and the plot kept me hooked to the end. Looking forward to part two.
Sep 09, 2016 Sasha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I am actually surprised about how well perceived this book seems to be. Granted, it isn't all bad but feels like a book that has a severe case of identity crisis. Is it crime/mystery? Is it urban fantasy? Is it horror? Is it pseudo philosophical and biblical mambo-jumbo? Well, it's all of the above. You can see how anyone would struggle to pack this all in writing. Well Pinborough does at least try. I don't think she quite succeeded, but alas, here is the first installment of The Forg ...more
Rob Miller
Jul 20, 2014 Rob Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rob’s Critical Book Review: “A Matter of Blood,” by Sarah Pinborough

Though I’m sure to upset some authors and publishers who, understandably, want five-star reviews, I’ve my own definition of the five-star system.

*One Star: A crime against God and man.
*Two Stars: Poor, or otherwise not ready for publication.
*Three Stars: A solid work worth the money/read.
*Four Stars: A superior, award-worthy achievement.
*Five Stars: A standard setter, a work to stand the test of time, a work to be studied and re
Jodie "Bookish"  Cook
Book reviewblood

Title: A matter of blood

Author: Sarah Pinborough

Genre: thriller/paranormal/crime

Rating: ***

Review: Not very long ago, Sarah Pinborough was featured in SFX, and I promised myself I’d read some of her books. I decided to go back and have a look at her trilogy, The God-Faced Dogs, which starts with this one.

At first, I had this down as Blade Runner meets Seven, future-noir (I’m making up genres here, I think). Grizzled police detective in a near-future London, post-economic crash, i
Lucian Poll
They're funny old things, book trilogies. Some genres seem to suit them better than others. For example, you'll be doing well to pick a sci-fi or fantasy novel off the shelves and not find it "Volume whatever of The Handlecrank Trilogy". (Usually the second.) There are some genres, however, that are ill-suited to trilogies. Crime, for example, where the book series is king owing to its inherent case-by-case story structure. Horror, too, is often stony ground for trilogies. (Tales of high terror ...more
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

London’s economy has crashed and there is nobody you can trust, not even the police who have started taking bribes in lieu of doing real work. The Bank is quickly taking over everything, being the one organization that has actually thrived during this trying time.

Meet Cassius Jones; a disgraced police officer, but one that his still managed to hold his job after an undercover assignment went horribly wrong and wrecked his life. Even his marriage is crap; leavi
Susie Munro
**minor spoilers**

I found a lot to like about this novel, Pinborough's writing is thoroughly engaging, emotive and keenly observed. While I don't read a lot of crime fiction, the protagonist, DI Cass Jones had an inner narrative which was nuanced enough to skirt the bad-guy-but-a-hell-of-a-detective cliche. Cass' relationships with his colleagues, his brother, and his parents are fleshed out and for the most part feel authentic. The world-building of a decaying London presided over by a mega-cor
Apr 17, 2016 Stuart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 02, 2011 Kerstin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-2011
Die Welt nach der Finanzkrise. Alle Staaten stehen am Rande des Bankrotts und werden nur noch durch ein transnationales Konsortium, das einfach "Die Bank" genannt wird, am Leben erhalten. Cass Jones muss in dieser Welt Morde aufklären: die Taten eines Serienkillers, der sich "der Fliegenmann" nennt; den Tod zweier Schuljungen, die ins Kreuzfeuer eines Bandenkrieges geraten; den Selbstmord seines eigenen Bruders Christian, der zuvor noch Frau und Kind tötet. Christian war Angeste
Jun 12, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A Matter of Blood is the first in Sarah Pinborough’s Forgotten Gods (or Dog-Faced Gods if you’re in the UK) horror/noir series. I have a soft spot for urban fantasy but am pretty particular about the quality of the material in that subgenre. While many books in the urban fantasy realm stick to the somewhat conventional realm of mystery A Matter of Blood mixes together the gritty world of noir with horrific dark fantasy to create a vivid world painted in shades of gray. A Matter of Blood takes pl ...more
Mar 29, 2013 Shelley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-releases
*Genre* Police Procedural, with a HINT of Dark Fantasy
*Rating* 3.0

*First Thoughts*

A Matter of Blood is apparently the first book in a trilogy called The Dog Faced Gods. It's a different sort of book than what I was expecting. It's not really a Paranormal, or Urban Fantasy novel per se. It doesn't have creepy vampires, or werewolves, or Fae, or witches. It's more of a police procedural drama wrapped up with elements that could be considered Dark Fantasy.

As a background: The world teetered on the
Expanded version posted at Plenty of Pages.

I would almost hesitate to call this book fantasy-- it is, of course, urban fantasy at its darkest, but one of the things that made it so chilling was that for most of the book, the supernatural elements were barely there. A few scenes gave the reader concrete proof that something otherworldly was going on, but for the most part A Matter of Blood just read like a really twisted mystery.

I loved it, let's get that right out of the way-- it was gruesome
Daniel Rudge
Jul 24, 2016 Daniel Rudge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan trilogies, but in "A Matter of Blood" Pinborough provides enough closure to let this first in the series almost stand alone. Almost. What we have is a genre bending novel, equal parts police procedural, supernatural, and suspense. If you don't immediately get into the book, keep reading because you will be hooked around page 100. While there are times that you can't stand the lead character, Pinborough's prose and ability to spin an entertaining yarn keep you turning pages. A dark ...more
Mike Finn
Sep 02, 2015 Mike Finn marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
"A Matter Of Blood" is a well written serial-killer book with a supernatural twist. The characters are deftly drawn. The scenes are delivered with cinematic clarity. The dialogue works and the plot unfolds at a confidently slow pace that increases the tension.

I stopped reading about halfway through. I just couldn't take the world Sarah Pinborough was describing.

The main character is a broken man who seems to have betrayed himself, his wife, and his brother and who continues his work as Detective
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

I would not want to be the person in charge of how to categorize A MATTER OF BLOOD as it could easily hold its own shelved anywhere in the mystery, urban fantasy or horror sections of your local book shop. In fact this book would likely end up on my list of books of the year in any of those categories. It’s that good.

A word of warning may be in order depending on what you may have been expecting. This book is dark – and not “Oooh, he’s bad, but has a he
Sep 20, 2016 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would have rated it less but the second half of the book really saved it. There is a lot of potential for the future books.
The world economy has tanked, police take protection money in lieu of raises/bonuses, the NHS is available only to the few, but crime? That hasn't changed. Cass Jones is a detective in the Rebus mold - flawed (cocaine habit, committed murder in the line of undercover duty), not loved by his superiors but they can't get rid of him because he's Just.That.Good., marriage in trouble, etc.. And there are two major cases that he's involved with, the accidental shooting of two boys that has the press i ...more
Brian Taylor
Nov 19, 2014 Brian Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went back and forth between three and four stars as I neared the end of this book until the last twenty pages. I really love how the author ended this book, hence the extra star. Let me start by saying that the author knows her way around the page and has a handle on characters and character development. The plot was intrically woven as well. The author gives readers just enough to keep them going as her characters uncover what's going on, and together, reader and character, piece together eac ...more
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Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed adult and YA author based in London.

Sarah was the 2009 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story and also the 2010 and 2014 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, and she has four times been short-listed for Best Novel. She is also a screenwriter who has written for the BBC and has several original television projects in dev
More about Sarah Pinborough...

Other Books in the Series

The Dog-Faced Gods (3 books)
  • The Shadow of the Soul (The Dog-Faced Gods, #2)
  • The Chosen Seed (The Dog-Faced Gods, #3)

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