Hello fellow urban fantasy fans. Today, I’m sharing my thoughts about Corruption (Blood Trails #4) by Jennifer Blackstream.
Read: 1st – 5th June 2019
Publication Date: 13th January 2019
My Overall Rating: 4/5
Plot: 4/5 – Flow: 5/5 – Character Development: 4/5 – World Building: 5/5
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.”
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.
I focus my reviews on how the story was told rather than the plot itself. I’m looking at the author’s writing style, how they paced their plots and how well they constructed their characters and setting. Therefore, my reviews don’t contain spoilers or reveal plot twists.
Here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story.
The latest installment of the Blood Trails series from USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Blackstream will keep you on the edge of your seat as PI Shade Renard races to solve a double homicide while desperately trying to protect herself and her friends from an ancient evil…
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…
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.
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 below 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:
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Click HERE to read my full disclosure statement.
Jennifer Blackstream is a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. She is amazed and grateful to have made a writing career out of a Master’s degree in Psychology, hours of couch-detecting watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and endless research into mythology and fairy tales. She firmly believes that whether it’s a village witch deciding she wants to be a private investigator, or a single mother having a go at being a full time writer, it’s never too late for a new adventure.
A fervent devotee of cooperative board games, Jennifer sets aside at least two nights a week for team-based adventures such as Mice & Mystics, Sentinels of the Multiverse, or Harry Potter: Battle at Hogwarts. She uses games with dice-based mechanics to lure in her ridiculously lucky-rolling son and daughter in the hope that they too will develop a passion for cooperative escapism.
Jennifer’s Blood Prince series is a paranormal romance retelling of favourite fairy tales. The Blood Realm spin-off series is the expansion of that world. While her Blood Trails series is a new urban fantasy built on her previous Blood world foundations.
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.