Monday, April 22, 2013

Review - A Matter of Blood by Sarah Pinborough (The Dog-Faced Gods # 1)


A Matter of Blood is apparently the first book in a trilogy called The Dog-Faced Gods which has already been released in the UK, but is now being published in the US. It's a different sort of book than what I was expecting. It's not really a Paranormal, or Urban Fantasy novel per se. It doesn't have creepy vampires, or werewolves, or Fae, or witches. It's more of a police procedural drama wrapped up with elements that could be considered Dark Fantasy.

The main character is Detective Inspector Cassius (Cass) Jones. He's a total mess. Although a good cop compared to his fellow coppers, he carries a lot of baggage with him throughout the book. He somehow managed to hold onto his job after a botched undercover operation went sideways. He drinks heavily, he snorts coke, he's friendly with known gangster like Artie Mullins, he's good at his job because he thinks like a criminal but will probably never move up in the ranks because of his undercover actions. He sleeps around with lots of women including his sister-in-law Jessica, and his assistant Sergeant Claire May who I really liked. His wife Kate, who I absolutely hated from the moment she was introduced, has some real issues as well that I won't go into since it will spoil the end game.

While Cass is investigating the murders of four women within the past two months by the mysterious Man of Flies who writes "Nothing Is Sacred" in blood and also leaves flies on the bodies, he's also trying to solve the murders of two young boys who were gunned down by unknown assailant in an apparent drive by. If that weren't enough for one man to handle, he's then accused of murdering his own brother Christian who he barely speaks to but was trying to reach out to Cass with important information, and the mysterious Bank who has taken over all the worlds financial transactions, seems to hold more answers than it's willing to part with. The question(s) for Cass to determine are what is connecting these three cases, how does he go about solving them without losing even more of his own sanity, why is he seeing his dead brother every where he goes, and what is The Banks connection to his own family?

"A Matter of Blood" is told not only from the eyes of Cass, but from Claire's as well. The third POV is from the killer who is extremely creepy and mysterious and once we find out who he is, we then learn about his apparent connection to Cass's own family as well as Mr. Bright and the bank who has been controlling things like a puppet master.

"A Matter of Blood" takes sometime to get moving and the various plots and machinations of the players involved will boggle your mind. There is betrayal at every level and twists that will surprise you if you're not paying attention. There are definite aspects of dark fantasy involved as well like I was saying before. Who is Mr. Bright, and what does The Glow really mean? Why did the King of Flies reach out to Cass and attempt to tell him to trust nobody? What was his families connection to the mysterious Mr. Bright and what does the future hold for Cass?

I was honestly shocked when I received this book from US.Penguin Group. I had not heard of this author before and was not aware of this books release until UPS delivered it to my doorstep. However, after reading A Matter of Blood, I will definitely be looking forward to reading the sequel The Shadow of the Soul when it is releases August 6, 2013. I am looking forward to learning more about Cass, his family, and the mysterious Mr. Bright.

Title - A Matter of Blood (The Dog-Faced Gods # 1)
Author - Sarah Pinborough
Publisher - ACE Trade
Released - April 2, 2013
Received from Publisher
Genre - Police Procedural/Dark Fantasy


  1. I haven't heard of this book before either but it sounds really different. It's been a while since I last read a good dark fantasy. Great review!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  2. I just added this book to my TBR a few days ago. I'm definitely intrigued, glad to see you enjoyed! :) Great review.
    Bonnie @ Sweet Tidbits