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on 8 June 2012
I have a great interest in genealogy and I loved Steve Robinson's first book In the Blood. However I think his second is even better. Once I started I couldn't put it down and read it in less than a day.

Sixty six year old American Eliza Gray receives a parcel from England containing possessions which apparently belonged to her real mother. Totally bewildered as, until then, she had no idea of her adoption she turn to genealogist Jefferson Tayte. Jefferson travels to England in search of her birth mother Mena Lasseter. His research uncovers dark family secrets and leads him into considerable danger as it becomes apparent he is not the only one looking for Mena.

Set both in the present and at the end of WW2 the action moves well between the two times. It is a fascinating and at times a gripping read. Though the plot is quite intricate it is not difficult to follow. However, the author was always one step ahead of me and I couldn't guess what would happen next.

The characters of the Lasseter family are particularly well drawn and Mena is such a sympathetic character you really feel for her. Jefferson Tayte himself is developing well as a character and I looking forward to reading more about him.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 June 2012
Fans of Steve Robinson's loner of a genealogist, Jefferson Tayte, are going to be thrilled to bits with this second novel of which I had a preview copy. JT is researching on behalf of an American lady who has just found that she was adopted. His short stay in England on her behalf dredges up a family mystery which has had profound echoes down the years. A close-knit family is torn apart by misunderstandings and by the behaviour of a member whose reason for her misguided actions was to keep them together. What he uncovers puts his own life in danger.

This is a tense thriller which takes us back to 1944/5 so that at times, we know what Tayte is still to discover. Steve Robinson doesn't just tell the reader the story, he drops us into the scene so that we can smell the zest from the Christmas orange, feel the chill from the crystalline frost. The characters are real, believable and not all by any means likeable! Mena, our `lost' girl, has a harridan of a mother and a weak father but you can join with her in her young and growing affections. I like to think of the contrast between the modern story and that of the past as counterpoint. It's like one melody moving against another and each highlights something from the other.

I felt that the story was strong and the family interactions very credible. I was working towards the conclusion which the author gave us but only at the very end. This is a great read and very well worth the 5 stars I give it. I will happily read more from Steve Robinson. He is a talented writer.
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on 11 June 2012
Having thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series, which also was Steve Robinson's first published novel, I've been looking forward to reading his next book. I wasn't disappointed; I enjoyed this even more than the first book! There is plenty to get your teeth into here - beautiful writing, mysteries, tragedy and a nail biting finale. I can really recommend this as an enjoyable and satisfying read.
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on 9 July 2012
Now this one's special. I'll avoid the usual cliches, suffice to say it now occupies a spot in my top 5 Kindle reads since getting the device two years ago. I enjoyed the first Jefferson Tayte outing In the Blood: A Genealogical Crime Mystery #1 (Jefferson Tayte) so I was really pleased when this one appeared. I thought it would be a 'safe' read but I certainly wasn't prepared for just how compulsive it would become. I'm normally a disciplined reader, only allowing measured time slots at certain times of the day. But all that went out of the window and several bleary-eyed days followed! Nuff said?
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on 7 June 2012
To The Grave is Steve Robinson's second novel, following his highly acclaimed debut In The Blood which also features genealogical Private investigator Jefferson Tayte.
This book has a strong cast, so vividly drawn that he made me care about their fate and angry at the social injustices so sadly common in 1944 the time in which much of the story is set. Stylishly written and superbly constructed it benefits greatly from the meticulous quality of the author's personal research and insight.
The plot twists and turns effortlessly moving between two different eras without a glitch, one of those rare books that you want never to end..
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on 12 June 2012
Having enjoyed Steve Robinson's previous bookIn the Blood: A Genealogical Crime Mystery #1 (Jefferson Tayte) I was eagerly anticipating this latest instalment of Jefferson Tayte's story. We find out a little more about him, but once more the story is about his genealogical research for one of his clients. This time his research is more recent being mainly concerned with events that happened during World War II and specifically with one family - the Lasseters.
The story is told in part from the events of WWII and part in the present but this is not a problem as the stories unfolded giving you just a little more information at a time. At one point I didn't want to carry on reading because I felt sure that something bad was going to happen to Mena Lasseter, but I had to keep on reading to find out what did happen.
Once again Steve Robinson has written a book that was un-put-downable, one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading, and I am now waiting for the next books - hopefully there will be many more with the cuddly JT.
Although genealogy and family history research plays a part in this book you do not have to be clued up on all the details of records and researching as Steve leads you through JT's research - it is the stories of the people that is the important thing.
As a family historian myself I enjoyed the research detailed in both books, but this one was less interesting to me as my research has not included any military or adoption records. Given the murder and mayhem that occurred when JT was researching perhaps I ought to be glad about that!
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on 10 June 2012
It was a long time waiting for the next novel, but boy it was well worth every single minute of it. Kind of feeling bad because I read it so quickly though, but really I couldn't help it !

Steve Robinson is such a wonderful storyteller. Mena's story is just so powerful, and it's related in such a beautiful way that it's going to be hard to find a reader who is left stone cold by this character and what she went through. Personally, I still have a big knot in my throat just trying to think about what I've read and what I'm going to write down on my review.

This was a wonderful journey back in time. I felt like I was there, with Mena. I kind of wished that I was there, with Mena, actually, just because I felt silly crying over a fictional character the way I did, and because the softie in me just needed to reach out to her... But then how much of it all is really fiction? Could Mena's story be true?

JT kind of took a back seat for me this time. He was a great means for relating the story though, through his findings and the events that were occurring with the present. The whole "moving between past and present" was handled really flawlessly. I do hope one day he finds his own past, I think that would make a really interesting volume number erm... 125? (that's because I hope there'll be that many more stories really, but no pressure !).

It's going to be one of those books that will stay with me for a long time... And because I've been trying to write this review for like 2 hours and I still can't find the words that will do this book justice, I'll just wrap up by recommending it to everyone and by saying thanks to Steve for all his hard work and this beauty of a novel. Now the wait for novel number 3 starts...
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on 26 June 2012
I enjoyed In The Blood immensely, Steve Robinson's debut novel, which I gave five stars. What a fool I was. Giving the book that score makes it difficult to show how much better this book is. Here is a writer in a clear ascendency. This book is much better than his previous novel. The story is much more carefully written, the involvement in the main character is woven into every page. To me, this is Mena's book, not JT's. Don't get me wrong, I really like the character of JT, but the tragic story of Mena Lasseters life screams out from the pages and somehow makes the genealogist's involvement less emotive.

This is a book written in a sad framework that covers over 65 years and is more of a love story than a thriller. It is compelling to the very end. If anything, I felt the thriller element an interruption from the main story and somewhat of an irrelevance, by comparison to the power of the main story.

If you want an example of great storytelling then this is the book for you, as JT traces the tracks of a tragic life, bringing the pieces together to a fabulously emotional conclusion.

Enjoy the book and appreciate how an author improves on his very good debut novel and, like me, look forward to what is to come from this talented writer.
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on 24 January 2015
A second incredible tale from Steve Robinson in the Jefferson Tayte series. I was captivated by the first book of this series and was blown away by the second. What an incredible tale of family mystery, intrigue and cover up and murder. I note that a few reviewers have said that the murders were committed for very little motive, but I know that some murders have been done for lesser motives. Although in my opinion there were distinct reasons that would make some people turn to desperate measures in this story.

However I was on the edge of my seat as bit by bit the details were exposed layer by layer as JT searched through the information available to him. I also identified with him in the frustrations as some of his research came to a seemingly dead end. Although the truth does come out eventually to a very poignant ending. The eventual outcome was not what some of the characters in the book hoped it would (although there was a good twist eventually).

This is so true to life. My husband and I found some hidden truths in our respective families and felt compelled to research. So I have personally experienced some of these difficulties and frustrations that are detailed in the book. In our experience we both found what we were looking for. For my husband the outcome was quite pleasant for me it was unpleasant. We didn't know what we would find but it was necessary to pursue the trails anyway. Remember the old saying "be careful what you wish for you just may get it".

Possibly one of the reasons I love this series is because of personal experience, or maybe I would have loved it anyway. Either way I recommend it.
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on 10 June 2012
I had waited for this book for what seemed like forever....although it wasn't that long really, and it was well worth it :-)
Steve Robinson has once again produced an excellent storyline based around genealogy, and it keeps you guessing right to the end. I loved the detailed descriptions of places and houses, which made me feel as if I was there, or would love to visit:-)
I could smell that orange, and was transported back to my own childhood when the soldier turned up at Christmas with special edible treats for the family (it was during WWII and food was rationed, so any extras were always welcome)The story moves at a great pace and has many twists and turns that keep you guessing from start to finish, with an ending that is perfect and unexpected. Altogether a brilliant read, and if you haven't yet read Steve's books I would recommend you do so without further delay :-)
Thank you Steve for another great read :-)x
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