Kitty Sewell - Bloodprint (2 stars)

Kitty Sewell - Bloodprint

(Simon & Schuster)


Kitty Sewell’s second novel is decked out in the same suspense-fuelled livery as Ice Trap, her internationally successful debut. The often melodramatic storyline crams in tropical hurricanes, Eastern European gangsters, brutal sexual violence, a mystical Cuban religion and a long lost child. Add to this wild mix a shallow Hannibal/Clarice-like relationship between psychologist Madeleine Frank and an imprisoned psychopathic murderer, and Bloodprint’s sinister tone becomes abundantly clear. The novel offers fast-flowing and accessible escapism, oscillating with surprisingly lucid ease between the lush, humid Florida coast to the damp, Georgian majesty of Bath. However, any sense of tension that would make it compulsively readable is unceremoniously extinguished by its stilted dialogue, hackneyed language and unending use of thunderstorms to reflect the characters’ emotional turbulence.

Despite Sewell’s concerted and complex effort to create a genuinely gripping psychological drama, Bloodprint ultimately fails to thrill, delivering a climax that’s lazily revealed and jarringly oblique.

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