Hello fellow urban fantasy fans. Today, I’m sharing my thoughts about Corruption (Blood Trails #4) by Jennifer Blackstream.
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Title: Corruption by Jennifer Blackstream
Series: Blood Trails #4
Published by Skeleton Key Publishing on 15 January, 2019
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Fiction, Fantasy, Urban, Contemporary, Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural, Mystery & Detective, Private Investigators
No. of Pages: 348
An exorcism went horribly, horribly wrong.
Did the ritual fail?
Or was it sabotaged...
Shade is a witch, not an exorcist. But when two priests are killed during an exorcism, the surviving witness begs Shade to find out who–or what–is responsible.
And what good is a private investigator who's afraid of the tough cases?
Danger mounts as Shade plunges into a world of hedonism to wade through the muddy waters of good vs evil. If she's going to survive against the army of enemies piling up, she's going to need help. But who can she trust when the demon who survived the exorcism creates chaos among allies and suspects alike?After all, with the proper temptation, anyone can be corrupted...
The Blood Trails series is a fusion of contemporary fantasy and cozy mystery that combines a classic private investigator/whodunnit with the sarcasm, magic, and pulse-pounding battles that have made the urban fantasy genre so famous. Join a witch detective and her quirky pixie familiar as they take on vampires, werewolves, wizards, sorceresses, and a whole lot more. After all, nothing relieves stress like a little magic, mayhem…and murder.
All of my books are written in the same universe (yes, the Blood Trails series is contemporary, not historical like the Blood Prince/Blood Realm series—so you’ll have to read Deadline to find out how I managed that…). Be ready for crossovers and cameos!
Review Format: eBook
Read: 1st – 5th June 2019
My Overall Rating: 4/5
Plot: 4/5 – Flow: 5/5 – Character Development: 4/5 – World Building: 5/5
Corruption is the fourth book (approx 346 pages) in Ms Blackstream’s Blood Trails series. An urban fantasy series set in America about a village witch, Shade Renard, turned private investigator. The Blood Trails world is a place inhabited by a host of mythical and supernatural beings, including; witches, vampires, wizards, sorceresses, pixies, dwarves, trolls and various species of fae living, unseen, alongside us mere mortals.
Corruption is a detective story within an urban fantasy framework.
Fans of Ms Blackstream’s Blood Prince series and Blood Realm series will be familiar with the creation myth found in the Blood Trails world. You may also recognise some of the characters who sometimes cameo within the books. However, I don’t think it’s necessary to have read these other series to enjoy the Blood Trails books.
Corruption could be read as a standalone story.
So far, Shade and her trusted pixie familiar, Peasblossom, have had to solve a different case in each book. The crimes varying from petty theft to cold-blooded murder. A gentle story-line of Shade’s past continues in the background. The origins of her magical power, her expanding contacts and her growing relationships – both personal and professional. Ms Blackstream eloquently weaves any pertinent facts regarding previous adventures and subsequent information learned into this one. Consequently, Corruption could be read as a standalone story. However, I feel that as the series grows, you’d miss the little things. The nuances of knowing re-occurring characters and understanding the dynamics of those relationships if you just jump straight in here.
Quote from Corruption
“”Shade, why is there a rhinoceros in my family room?”
I didn’t answer Andy. My full and undivided attention rested on the two thousand pound rhinoceros standing less than five feet in front of me.”
Ms Blackstream has become a tried and trusted author on my bookshelf.
I find her writing style intelligent and easy to read, her plot lines gripping and her characters captivating and believable. Corruption did not let me down.
As my previous reviews have confirmed, I like our heroine, Shade, and have enjoyed how she has continued to grow. She’s proved herself to be intelligent, witty and definitely has loads of gumption. I admire her perseverance. Her maturity to admit her mistakes and then learn from them. However, Shade tested my patience and regard at times in this book.
I also love the fact that the secondary characters that Ms Blackstream has created to populate her world feel just as real as our leads. They aren’t just filling the page. All have the complexities that we’d see in those around us. A balance of strengths and insecurities which makes me want to know more about them.
The paranormal world that Ms Blackstream is creating is growing in depth.
I enjoyed being introduced to different supernaturals. Liking that we’ve learned more about the governance of the Others world during this story. Corruption is an urban fantasy tale featuring a host of paranormal species. However, it’s the detective and police crime aspect that kept me hooked the most. I enjoyed the attention to detail that Ms Blackstream wrote into this murder mystery. The police procedures that are used to solve crimes, e.g. leg work, interviewing witnesses and potential suspects, etc. I loved the way Ms Blackstream included the real ambiguity of our laws, legal system and morality into her fictional tale. She certainly caused me to pause and consider the wisdom of flexibility compared to a more rigid approach.
Corruption certainly kept me guessing.
There are some unexpected twists and turns during Shade’s investigation. My Sherlock-Holmes-tendencies engaged and kept me on the edge of my seat. I liked that it wasn’t all easy sailing for our heroine.;There is danger, tension and some scary moments in this book.
I loved the fact that Corruption had me on the edge of my seat holding my breath with tension (and also with fear during a few scenes too, eek!), wiping a tear from my cheek, fuming with indignation and chuckling out loud.
I really enjoyed this book as the 4 star rating testifies. My only niggle was that I didn’t like or understand some of Shade’s behaviour in this book. Her thoughts and actions made me stop reading and not want to pick up for a while. However, by the end of the book I recognise that these were all part of her development and learning process as a character.
As a series, there are certain questions left unanswered. For example Shade’s history and where her magical power comes from. We don’t know what will happen to her partnership with F.B.I. Agent Andy Bradford. Or what will happen with all the F.B.I. cold cases. Most importantly, why Flint’s so interested in her and how their relationship will change now that he “owns” her. In my opinion this is a good thing. Background plot-lines are left to continue in subsequent books which tie the whole series together.
I really liked this book. It’s got everything that I look for in an engaging read. Great action to get the adrenaline pumping. An intelligent mystery to get the little grey cells whirling and nail biting tension. Plus well written humour to balance it all.
So, has my review of CORRUPTION (BLOOD TRAILS #4) encouraged you to find out more? I do hope so. Click on any of the links to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the series or the author herself.
Blood Trails Series
An urban fantasy series set in America about a village witch, Shade Renard, turned private investigator. Every book has a different crime or murder mystery for Shade to investigate, which she solves by the end of each book.
Click below to read my review or check out the books yourself.
- Deadline (Blood Trails #1) (2018)
- Monster (Blood Trails #2) (2018)
- Taken (Blood Trails #3) (2018)
- Corruption (Blood Trails #4) (2019)
- Mercenary (Blood Trails #5) (2019)
- Caged (Blood Trails #6) (2019)
- Betrayal (Blood Trails #7) (2020)
Buy any of the stories in Blood Trails series in print and ebook formats through the usual sources, including:
Here’s Jennifer’s bio as promised.
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my thoughts. I hope I’ve tempted you to add Corruption to your TBR pile. 😉
Jennifer Blackstream is one of my favourite authors. Click HERE to see my other favourite writers.