Publishers Weekly 

This goose bump–inducing thriller from Guild (Angel) pits San Francisco PD detective Ellen Ridley, revolted by the horrors of her job yet constantly wearing an Ice Queen face, against a vicious and inventive serial killer, who lures susceptible women to ever more horrific deaths. Ellen feels her dedication to avenging these victims is swallowing her whole life, until she falls hard for an elegant and enigmatic computer genius, Stephen Tregear, who’s locked in a years-long mutual hunt with the killer—Stephen’s own renegade father, who’s determined to slay Stephen himself. The gentle romance between Ellen and Stephen parallels the investigation that her senior police partner, Sam, gradually shifts onto Ellen’s shoulders, allowing her to develop professionally while Sam approaches the climax of his own career. Guild’s drop-dead characterizations of police men and women, his perfect-pitch dialogue, and the serpentine coils of a plot that’s absorbing and shocking support this unusually convincing combination of romance and homicide.



Sometimes writers of crime fiction—mindful of the criticism that women are underrepresented both as authors and as characters—go overboard and create female
protagonists who are a little too perfect. And that’s boring because it’s too simple. As the saying goes, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” Making female characters perfect takes away their humanity.

Ellen Ridley is not perfect. She doesn’t like her mother very much. And she doesn’t live in a perfect PC world. But she’s learned to live with it.

But it’s complicated being a woman and a cop.
And Nicholas Guild gets it right.
I’d like to see more of Ellen Ridley.



Blood Ties was an impeccably written suspense tale that managed to keep the reader engrossed while giving us the identity of the slayer up front.
This story was told from several points of view, including the killer and his son. While I’m not usually a fan of more than two POVs, it worked here.  There were times it felt like a case study, and it was interesting being able to see everyone’s part in it. The author did a wonderful job threading in the different perspectives while still keeping Ellen, the main character in the story, at the forefront. Stephen Tegear, the killer’s son, played a prominent
part in this book, and his reflections of the past and the revelations he had once he realized the kind of man his father was were the most captivating parts for me. He was a character I really enjoyed reading about. 

The reason I picked this book up was because I know it’s a genre I enjoy, but it’s not one I read a lot of. I really needed something to shake up what’s been a string of mediocre reads for me, and this did the trick! Blood Ties isn’t a ‘whodunnit?’ so much as a how did we get here and how the heck is this going to end? This was my first book from this author, but it won’t be the last. If you’re a fan of procedural police dramas, intriguing characters, and books that are incredibly plot driven, I think this one is right up your alley.