The Sun and the Sand and a Book in my Hand

Book Review: Guilty Blood by Rick Acker

Book Review: Guilty Blood by Rick Acker

Rick Acker’s latest novel is a non-stop thrill ride with fascinating scientific details that will please even the most astute readers looking for an enthralling read.

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About the Book:

Jessica Ames’ college-aged son Brandon has been arrested for murder, a crime he didn’t commit. Or did he? The DNA found under the victim’s fingernails matches Brandon’s DNA. Jessica doesn’t know what to do, but she is convinced her son did not commit this crime. She calls upon Nate Daniels, a corporate attorney who was a close friend of Jessica’s deceased husband. Nate doesn’t know much about criminal defense, but he wants to do what he can to help in Brandon’s case.

As they begin to investigate, roadblocks are thrown in their way from all angles. Everyone seems to think that the DNA evidence is all that is needed and Brandon has “Guilty Blood.” Yet, as Nate and Jessica talk to more people, they find ties to human trafficking and other frightening undercurrents in society. The two of them grow closer, but they are afraid that their help for Brandon may come too late–if it comes at all.


My Thoughts:

Acker’s book is so richly detailed, I was engrossed from the first page. I was so curious throughout as to 1) How could the DNA evidence be compromised to point to Brandon, or was he guilty? and 2) If Brandon didn’t do it, who did and why?  I went back and forth in my mind as to whether or not I believed Brandon was guilty, and it wasn’t until pieces started clicking into place for me that I could puzzle out exactly what was going on. It is an action packed journey in order to get to that point!

The author’s legal expertise shines through on each page. He doesn’t complicate matters with jargon that readers won’t understand, but he also doesn’t pander to readers and water the legal portions down and overly simplify things. When you get to the end of the book and discover that so many of the topics are built from real-life scenarios and situations, it makes the the story that much more intriguing. The DNA threads in the tale are quite intricate and detailed, I did have to concentrate to understand exactly what was going on, but in the end it was that part that made the book truly gripping and unique.

My favorite character had to be Kevin, the autistic computer genius. He offered a bit of lightness, yet also gave the story some added dimensions of detail with regards to computer hacking and exactly what that looks like it a real-life situation. If the details of this novel don’t scare you into realizing that there is no way you can truly hide from a determined computer hacker, then you should think again. I have definitely heard stories about the ability to spy through a computer webcam, but through any internet connected device? Frightening!

The spiritual content of the story is also extremely realistic and touching. Brandon is in an untenable situation, and his faith takes a beating. The author’s boldness to examine faith in unimaginable circumstances and to avoid offering trite answers or conversion moments is admirable and relatable. Both Christian and non-Christian readers will be able to put themselves in Brandon’s shoes and measure his reactions against theirs. I think most people would be wondering where God is when one horrible thing after another keeps happening.

Bottom Line:

Rick Acker’s latest book is an exciting legal thriller with captivating detail and intriguing scientific information. All of this, coupled with meaningful characterization, adds up to a riveting tale from start to finish.

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