Joe's Reviews > Bleed for Me

Bleed for Me by Michael Robotham
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really liked it

This is the fifth entry in the author’s very good series chronicling retired British Detective Inspector Vincent Ruiz and psychologist Joseph O’Loughlin. These books are a very engaging blend of mystery, police procedural and psychological thriller – well written with an excellent cast of real and interesting characters. The one fault I have with the series is that the story-lines have a tendency to go one twist, one coincidence or one connection too far, which does tend to strain credibility.

Bleed For Me follows this formula. Dr. O’Loughlin, battling Parkinson’s and a dissolving marriage, is now semi-retired from his practice and sleuthing, working as a part-time college professor. But as this story starts extenuating circumstances suck him into a murder investigation when his adolescent daughter’s best friend is accused of murdering her father. So as much as the good doctor would rather stay on the sidelines, he’s quickly embroiled in the seemingly “slam-dunk” murder case against the young woman – which of course turns into much, much more.

O’Loughlin, once he takes on a case, cannot leave well enough alone, and as he digs here he finds trouble at his daughter’s school, including a very spooky teacher - as well as a love interest - the exploitation of troubled young girls and then – the one twist too many – a political connection that has ties to a xenophobic hate group and an ongoing well publicized trial. As the plot thickens O’Loughlin calls in retired detective Vincent Ruiz – from London - while working with, and at times, against a local cop – Veronica Cray – who was introduced in the previous book in this series. In the not so distant background Joe is trying – not so successfully - to salvage his failing marriage.

This constant turmoil in our protagonist’s life is an interesting quirk in this volume - the author seems to relish making our hero’s life as miserable as possible. Treating O’Loughlin much like a punching bag, the professor reels through this book. While fighting his ever-present physical ailments, Joe is constantly at odds with the investigation - the bearer of bad news and the lone voice in the search for justice – all the while Joe’s disintegrating marriage consumes him. One or two of these “challenges” in his life seems more than enough – all three – even with the “Doctor, heal thyself” theme – comes across – at times – over the top.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this book and like the series – this is a distinction between “excellent” and “very good” – I’m just asking to tone down some of the extraneous noise and curious as to why the author treats his protagonist like a Bo-Bo doll.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 1, 2011 – Finished Reading
November 21, 2013 – Shelved

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