Book Review : In The Blood by Lisa Unger

June 2, 2014 Book review 10 ★★★½

If you have ever read my reviews, you know I love twisty plots and unreliable narrators. And I’ve read tons in this genre but this is one of the most unexpected twists I have ever come across. My heart skipped a beat for moment while I worked it all out and then I wanted to shriek as it thrilled me.

Book Review : In The Blood by Lisa UngerIn the Blood by Lisa Unger
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2014-01-07
Genres: Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon


She has told so many lies about where she comes from and who she is that the truth is like a cloudy nightmare she can’t quite recall. About to graduate from college and with her trust fund almost tapped out, she takes a job babysitting a troubled boy named Luke. Expelled from schools all over the country, the manipulative young Luke is accustomed to control­ling the people in his life.

But, in Lana, he may have met his match. Or has Lana met hers? When Lana’s closest friend, Beck, mysteriously disappears, Lana resumes her lying ways—to friends, to the police, to herself. The police have a lot of questions for Lana when the story about her where­abouts the night Beck disappeared doesn’t jibe with eyewitness accounts. Lana will do anything to hide the truth, but it might not be enough to keep her ominous secrets buried: someone else knows about Lana’s lies. And he’s dying to tell.

First Line of In The Blood:

“There are twelve slats of wood under my bed.“

The Highs of In The Blood

– That twisty, bendy, misleading, manipulative narrator!
– The prose. I enjoyed the writing style as it was thoughtful and lyrical all at the same time but thankfully never purple. If I have to think of one word to describe the writing style, I’d say clever. It challenged my ideas on psychopaths and made me ponder a lot on the nature versus nuture debate
– It holds the suspense up well and doesn’t reveal its secrets too soon.
– There is a threatening atmosphere throughout the book. There isn’t really any gore but it makes your imagination run riot and I felt pretty jumpy which is what I expect from a good thriller.
– Lots of dark, evil characters. So evil, I felt the need to take a shower afterwards just to cleanse my mind :O
– The twist! Seriously read it just for the stunning twist!

The Lows of In The Blood

– Despite the suspense, I found the pace a bit choppy at times. I wanted more to happen to keep me invested
– The main character isn’t the most likeable. Well none of the characters are. I don’t mind that too much but I didn’t feel a lot of empathy during the book for the main character. I wanted to like her more and care more about her but I just couldn’t.
– Ditto the missing girl
– The romance was more miss than hit with me. It’s not a huge part of the book but I just didn’t like how tumultuous it was. I really don’t see a happy ever after here. Again more of a personal preference rather than a flaw in the book though.

On the balance:

I really, REALLY liked this one. I had some issues with the pace and thought it got a bit slow at times but that reveal moment was worth waiting for. It sucker punched me and one of my favourite things is when books do this.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-half-stars


Who should read In The Blood?

I’d highly recommend this to fans to psychological thrillers who like unreliable narrators and skilfully hidden twists. If you are a fan of authors like Samantha Hayes, Gillian Flynn and Emma Chapman; then I think you’d also like this one.

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Schuster UK Fiction for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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10 Responses to “Book Review : In The Blood by Lisa Unger”

    • trish

      I know I always have so many books that I’m trying to make time for! It’s a blessing and a curse. Hope you enjoy this one when you get to it Leanna, the writing is fab.

  1. Karolina @ Bookshelf Reflections

    Did she kill him? I’m sure she killed him. She’s the murderer and doesn’t know, isn’t she? I don’t read thrillers. They don’t keep me invested. I need some romance somewhere in the whole thing. But this book sounds really interesting so I might just pick it up. I love me some good prose after all!
    Karolina @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted…Blogging Reflections: On DNF-ing

    • trish

      There is a romance in this one but it didn’t cut it for me. As for your question….my lips are sealed! But all I’ll say is it’s twisty 🙂

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