Lots of blood but no body kicks off a thriller in which nothing is what it seems.
Detective Steven Paul is barely holding onto his job when he and his partner, Gayla Ocasio, are sent to visit Emily Lindsey in the hospital. He’s been having terrible dreams, and they’re affecting his waking life, so much so that his partner has been asked to report back to the department therapist if she thinks he’s having problems. When they meet Emily, she’s awake but unresponsive, and then when they come back into the room after having stepped outside for a few minutes, she’s drawn a symbol all over herself and her bed—a symbol that Steve has been seeing in his dreams. How is that possible? Emily’s husband, Dan, discovered her at their home covered in blood and clutching a knife but unable to tell him what happened; she’s not injured, so it isn't her own blood, and Steve’s name was on a Post-It Note in her pocket. Turns out Emily is a popular blogger known for stirring the pot, and her research into Ryan Griggs, a controversial figure in big pharma, has ruffled some powerful feathers. That's all Steve and Gayla have to work with. It’s an eye-opening avenue of investigation, and they need all the help they can get, because all that blood belongs to someone, and hopefully it’s not too late for him or her. Meanwhile, Steve, who narrates, struggles to cope with not only the nightmares and the visions, but the pain of not seeing the little boy who's not biologically his child but whom he raised from a very young age with his ex-wife. Interspersed with Steve and Gayla’s investigation are passages involving a group of children living in a compound who are determined to find out what terrible thing happens every year on June 2—it may have a connection with Steve’s terrible nightmares.
Joseph (Boy, 9, Missing, 2016) employs a lot of twists to get to her denouement, watering down some of its impact, and while the story requires some suspension of disbelief, Joseph’s prose is smooth enough to keep the pages turning.