By Hilary Davidson
Hilary Davidson puts aside her award-winning series about travel writer Lily Moore for an engrossing standalone thriller that revels in strong characters and exciting surprises.
“Blood Always Tells” works well as a heartfelt, energetic story about greed, entitlement and the unbreakable bonds between siblings who never stop believing in each other. Davidson also works in a subtle but effective subtext about racial politics that gives “Blood Always Tells” an extra boost.
Former model Dominique Monaghan has a plan to get back at her married boyfriend, Gary Cowan, for cheating on her with another woman. She plans to blackmail him in a way that may finally end what he has always called his “sham of a marriage” to uber-wealthy Trin Lytton-Jones. Gary has always said his marriage was arranged only because the unfeeling Trin’s father threatened to disinherit her unless she was married. But Dominique’s plan goes horribly wrong when she and Gary are kidnapped and taken to an abandoned house in rural Pennsylvania.
From there, “Blood Always Tells” is a twisty route of double crosses and plot twists in which greed controls many of the characters’ souls. Enter Desmond Edgars, Dominique’s brother, who is determined to find out what happened to his younger sister. An Army veteran, Desmond is a good man in a sea of selfish predators. But Davidson is careful not to make Desmond too perfect, adding realistic flaws.
Davidson intricately shows Desmond’s devotion to his sister, and the violent history they share: He was about 14 years old and she only 4 when their mother was sent to prison for killing her second husband. Racial issues also provide an intriguing subtext as Desmond and Dominique are black. (MCT)