In the Blood – Lisa Unger

Published January 2014


Liar, liar, pants on fire . . .

College senior Lana Granger has told so many lies about her past that the truth seems like a distant, cloudy nightmare.  But she meets her match when she begins babysitting for a volatile, manipulative eleven-year-old boy.  Soon after Lana takes the job, her close friend Beck mysteriously disappears.  Lana instantly begins fabricating stories – to friends, to police, to herself.  Why doesn’t her account jibe with those of eye-witnesses?  Lana will do anything to bury the truth about that night … and about her life.  But someone else knows her secrets.  And he’s dying to tell.

My thoughts

The story starts with Lana, a college student who is engaged as a babysitter for Luke, a troubled boy. Slowly we start to get to know Lana and get glimpses into her hidden background. Lana has blocked many of her past memories out and she is in therapy. Lana and Luke soon become locked in a bizarre game. The drama escalates when Lana’s best friend goes missing.

This is one of those books that I have been meaning to read for ages. Finally I got to see what those rave reviews were all about.

Lisa Unger has created a remarkable, intelligent read, with a superb twist. I just love it when an author makes me think. So much to mention, from the nature/nurture debate to mental health, family breakdown and the social construction of identity, gender and motherhood. There is a great deal contained in this mystery, with subtle clues at to what is REALLY going on.

I am willing to admit that I was fooled by the main twist. It is not often that happens.

All of the characters were well crafted and fascinating. I was very drawn to Lana and Luke, two very different damaged young people. For much of the story, I found myself trying to work out Lana. Lana is very cautious in what she reveals through her narration. I really didn’t know what to make of her.

Highly recommended.




About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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