Lana Granger is a senior in college, taking a light course load (only three classes), and at her aunt’s suggestion she takes a part-time job babysitting a young boy named Luke. Luke goes to a nearby school for troubled children, and he is manipulative and controlling. As a psychology major, Lana has experience working with kids like Luke, and she’s careful in how she engages in Luke’s game-playing. But just as she’s getting to know Luke and his mother Rachel, Lana’s roommate Beck disappears—and the last anyone saw of Beck, she was fighting with Lana at the university library. Is there more to the story than Lana is telling?
In the Blood is all about secrets and lies, and the whole story is told in fits and starts, with teasers and hints dropped here and there in amongst the main action. Lana is an interesting character, which is good as much of the book takes place deep in her POV. However, it’s is also problematic because Lana keeps referring to her behavior and how others perceive her—she’s nothing if not self-aware, even when it comes to her self-deception—yet we don’t ever really get a sense of what she’s like from an outside source; while reading the thoughts of a character with a rich psyche full of vivid memories and details, I found it difficult to visualize her as externally emotionless.
As always, Unger has written a competent thriller, a good airplane book. I’m not sure whether too much information was given out or if my mind happened to go just the right way at just the right time, but about halfway through the book all the parceling-out of information stopped being intriguing and instead became annoying, kind of like a kid’s knock-knock joke that’s gone on a little too long. There’s nothing particularly new in In the Blood, but it is a fun read—even if you figure out where the twists are going to take you, it’s worth the read right up to the end.
This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars.