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3.5 out of 5 stars11
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 21 September 2008
I did enjoy reading this book, recommend it as a good read, and but for one aspect would have given four stars.

The characters are entirely credible throughout - I totally disagree with the one star reviewer below - and the story line is at least as credible as that of others in the crime related genre (substantially more credible than Robert Goddard, for example). The denouement does become a little far fetched (won't spoil it) but never becomes ludicrous. And the storyline does revolve around something of which I was totally unaware and which linked nicely to the main character's passion for genealogy.

So what is the difficulty? As I said, I find each individual character interesting and credible. The problem is that there are quite a few who play a relatively minor role and it was hard to keep them all in mind. So every time a name like Toby or Archie or Richard or John or Rosa or PC Harman or ... came up I found myself having to work to remember who they were (there are more - lots more). This broke the flow for me somewhat. I think that a good editor could have helped the author here: cutting down the number of characters by at least a third would have allowed her more scope to develop the good ones even more.

So a good read, a good concept and an enjoyable story - I think that this author is worth watching and could move on from here.
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on 14 October 2005
This original and thought-provoking mystery is both clever and haunting. Very atmospheric, a touch of supernatural, great characters and a brilliant concept, what more could you want? Read it for it's lyricism, its wonderful Cotswold settings and well-researched historical insight into a little known but fascinating aspect of World War II.
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on 2 December 2005
I couldn't let the 1 star review of this book by a previous reader skew the score any longer - this is a great novel which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The intricate plot was all tied together in the end in a very satisfying way. The descriptions of the Cotswold scenery were very vivid, and perhaps especially nice for me, being an ex-pat who misses Britain.
I enjoyed the first book in the Natasha Blake series but I would say that this one is even better.
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Having read and enjoyed Pale as the Dead, the first novel by Fiona Mountain to feature genealogist Natasha Blake, I was very keen to read Bloodline, also featuring the same main character. Although a loose sequel to Pale as the Dead, Bloodline can be read as a standalone story quite easily.

The story this time involves the death of a man for whom Natasha was compiling a family tree, except it wasn't his family that she was researching. She finds herself more and more drawn into the investigation as she is asked by the dead man's son and the police to carry on researching to help them try and solve the mystery of why he was killed.

I enjoyed this book immensely. Not quite as good as Pale as the Dead in my view, but still an excellent read. It's nice to read a crime book that features historical research and genealogy and I really wish Fiona Mountain would write more in a similar vein. I found it fascinating to read as the story unfolded and Natasha fitted together more and more pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. Recommended to anybody who likes history with a contemporary setting.
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Natasha is a freelance genealogist and she receives a commission from elderly Charles Seagrove to draw up a family tree. Needing the money she accepts the task against her better judgement. Before long there is a murder and Natasha realises there are damgerous secrets lurking at the bottom of this muddy water - secrets people are prepared to kill to preserve.

Natasha is battling with her own family problems and her serious and energy sapping insomnia and wonders whether she has taken on task which is beyond her capabilities. The book presents a fascinating puzzle and a lot of interesting information about doing research into family history. It isn't a fast moving book but if you are interested in the effect the past has on the present and enjoy reading about people dealing with psychological issues then you will enjoy this. It is a thoughtful and thought provoking story.
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on 25 April 2013
Second of this author's books to feature Natasha Blake "Ancestor Detective". As with the first one, Natasha is doing her normal job of researching family history and get involves in a murder investigation with roots in the past. Quite a complicated plot but easy reading although I was annoyed by a few small errors.
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I thought this an original idea for a story.

It was a great to read on holiday as the story moves along at a pace and was very interesting.

I'm not going to repeat the story line here as others have already done that but if you're interested in nature versus nurture and family history give this a go
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on 2 February 2014
I ordered this for someone else and it was sent to their address, so I cannot comment on it ,or the other book by Fiona Mountain..
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on 14 July 2015
Excellent entertaining thought provoking storyline
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on 9 May 2009
The idea of using a genealogist as a 'detective' is a good and original one, and there are several informative passages describing her work. But the book is baggily constructed, and many of the characters are two-dimensional. There are too many shadowy men, called upon by Natasha to assist in her researches.
The presence of numerous mistakes,in spelling (knit one, pearl one, for example, and 'phased' for 'fazed') and in facts (somebody booking a space in a churchyard in advance, photographs being on the front page of a local newspaper in 1853) detracted greatly from my enjoyment. Yes, it's fiction, and some license with the truth is allowed, but these feel like carelessness.
There are insightful passages, but often they're presented with little subtlety.
I would read more of Ms Mountain's work, as I'm told she improves with later titles.
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