top of page
  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: A LINE OF BLOOD, Ben McPherson

"Spine-tingling, human, twisted, yet realistic"


A chilling psychological thriller about family – the ties that bind us, and the lies that destroy us. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and I Let You Go.

You find your neighbour dead in his bath.

Your son is with you. He sees everything.

You discover your wife has been in the man’s house.

It seems she knew him.

Now the police need to speak to you.

One night turns Alex Mercer’s life upside down. He loves his family and he wants to protect them, but there is too much he doesn’t know.

He doesn’t know how the cracks in his and Millicent’s marriage have affected their son, Max. Or how Millicent’s bracelet came to be under the neighbour’s bed. He doesn’t know how to be a father to Max when his own world is shattering into pieces.

Then the murder investigation begins…


I stumbled across this book when a friend tweeted that they had read it and loved it. I have to admit I’d never heard of it, but it sounded right up my street. Having read it, I’m now determined that more people hear about it.

Spine-tingling, human, twisted, yet realistic, this is a masterclass of writing about an ordinary life that suddenly finds itself in extraordinary times.

From the outside Alex Mercer’s family looks happy and normal, but the illusion slowly disintegrates when a neighbour commits suicide. The author succeeds in brilliantly illustrating an ordinary family life, then slowly sowing tiny seeds of doubt about them. Is the drinking normal middle class level, or has it slid into something darker? Are the rows between Alex and his wife the spats of two people who love each other deeply, or a hint of something more violent? And what is the impact of all this on their son, an intelligent boy struggling with the adult lives falling apart around him?

From the very beginning I was hooked on this complex thriller. All the characters, likeable or not, felt like people I could easily meet on the street or in the pub. What’s more, they are rounded, showing their nastier sides, then showing vulnerability. It is a tense read, and the twists and turns had me doubting myself and often changing my mind about what had happened and why.

A brilliant book I would highly recommend, my only caveat is…don’t read it in the bath!

8 views0 comments
bottom of page