A new thriller from a writer who’s been compared to Michael Crichton, Alfred Hitchcock, Raymond Chandler, Blake Crouch, and David Cronenberg takes us to the most menacing core of California’s upper crust, a class of billionaires with more money than they could spend in eternity.
Edgar Award Finalist
"Taut, smart and electrifying." —Liv Constantine
A new thriller from a writer who’s been compared to Michael Crichton, Alfred Hitchcock, Raymond Chandler, Blake Crouch, and David Cronenberg takes us to the most menacing core of California’s upper crust, a class of billionaires with more money than they could spend in an eternity.
Who is Claire Gravesend?
So wonders PI Lee Crowe when he finds her dead, in a fine cocktail dress, on top of a Rolls Royce, in the most dangerous neighborhood in San Francisco. Claire’s mother, Olivia, is one of the richest people in California. She doesn’t believe the coroner: her daughter did not kill herself. Olivia hires Crowe, who—having just foiled a federal case against a cartel kingpin—is eager for distraction. But the questions about the Gravesend family pile up fast.
First, the autopsy reveals round scars running down Claire’s spine, old marks Olivia won’t explain. Then, Crowe visits Claire’s Boston townhouse and has to fend off an armed intruder. Is it the Feds out for revenge? Or is this connected to the Gravesends? He leaves Boston afraid, but finds his way to Claire’s secret San Francisco pied-à-terre. It’s there that his questions come to a head. Sleeping in an upstairs bedroom, he finds Claire—her face, her hair, her scars—and as far as he can tell, she’s alive. And Crowe’s back at the start:
Who is Claire Gravesend?
The first time I saw Claire Gravesend she was already dead. She hadn’t been that way long. She was lying in front of the Refugio Apartments on Turk Street, still warm, still with color on her cheeks. I put two fingers on the left side of her throat and confirmed what was already obvious. I didn’t consider calling 911. The last thing I wanted to do right then was talk to the police. And anyway, it was too late to do her any good.
Even as I watched, the rain was pooling over her open eyes. If there was any part of her that could still see, she was looking up from beneath an ocean. The surface was too far away to reach. She’d taken her last breath and now she was sinking, bringing with her everything she’d ever known.
Of course, I didn’t know her name yet. I didn’t know what she would do to my life. It could have been a passing encounter. An unfortunate sight on a Tenderloin street that was already inclined toward misfortune. But instead I took out my camera, and ultimately that was what drew me into it. I only saw her in the flesh for a few minutes, and after that it was just photographs. Pieces of her life, hints. The traces were scattered like shards of broken glass.
In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised when that encounter wasn’t the end of it. Once you brush against someone like Claire Gravesend, you’re marked. Either you begin to turn the wheels, or the gears move on their own. And when the axles start to spin, the motion is self-perpetuating. An eternal cycle, always renewing.
What I can’t shake is that image of eternity. Or it could be fate I’m talking about ?— ?the idea that your name and the course of your life were set down in stone before the Big Bang’s first spark. That you could live forever and not escape the path that had been laid out for you.
But that’s only because of what happened later.
Finalist for an Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original
Finalist for the 2020 Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing
"Like Moore’s five previous novels, Blood Relations is a deftly plotted, engaging read, stylistically sophisticated, with a taut balance between character and action...Moore writes noir for the 21st century. "
"Blood Relations is a psychological thriller-cum-horror tale trembling on the brink of reality."
—New York Journal of Books
"Classic noir reminiscent of Chandler and Hammett. Grabs you by the throat from the first page and never lets go. Taut, smart and electrifying. Get ready for a long night."
—Liv Constantine, New York Times-bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish
"Blood Relations's hard-nosed private eye, Lee Crowe, seems like he's been plucked from a classic hard-boiled detective novel or noir film, but the book's Bay Area setting is 100% contemporary...The contrast between an old-school detective and a modern world full of high-tech tools and slippery morals gives extra momentum to a mystery that's already a propulsive page-turner."
“What starts as a dark and pacey detective story morphs into something far more sinister and riveting. Ross MacDonald meets Michael Crichton. A very impressive thriller.”
—Peter Swanson, author of The Kind Worth Killing and All the Beautiful Lies
“It won’t take you ten pages before you’re hurtling along with private investigator Lee Crowe in this high-speed chase into the lives of the California ultra-rich. Sinister twists, gutsy escapes, and uneasy ethics abound—a must-read for fans of Philip Marlowe.”
—Maria Hummel, author of Still Lives
“Blood Relations is dark, compelling, and frighteningly plausible. Every twist grabs you hard and pulls you deeper into the mystery. I absolutely could not put this novel down.”
—Meg Gardiner, author of Ransom River and Into the Black Nowhere
"...suspenseful and skillfully plotted. Noir fans who don't know Moore have some catching up to do."
—Booklist, STARRED review
"Enough action and atmosphere to satisfy readers who like their gumshoes old-school while having a lot to say about humankind’s hubris and preoccupation with eternal youth...gritty neo-noir with an all-too-plausible speculative twist."
"Page-turner...well crafted plot, relentless pacing, and the highly satisfying conclusion...equal parts mystery and thriller, this standalone is a winner."
“Smart plotting. Nary a false note. Suspense that never stops. If you like Michael Connelly’s novels, you will gobble up Jonathan Moore’s The Dark Room.”
—James Patterson, on THE DARK ROOM
“An electrifying read, building from shock to shock. I read the last one hundred pages in a single sitting. The final chapter is an absolute stunner. I haven’t read anything so terrifying since Red Dragon.”
—Stephen King, on THE POISON ARTIST
“Patient, stylish, and incredibly suspenseful.”
—Lee Child, on THE POISON ARTIST
“A magnificent, thoroughly unnerving psychological thriller written in a lush, intoxicating style. I dare you to look away.”
—Justin Cronin, on THE POISON ARTIST
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