Friday, October 2, 2009

Review: BLOOD BOND by Michael Green

by Michael Green (Arrow/Random House, 2009)

Reviewed by Craig Sisterson

Last month the second instalment in computer consultant, professional speaker, and keen yachtsman Michael Green’s ‘Blood Line’ trilogy was released. Blood Bond continues the story of two branches of the Chatfield family (one based in England, the other in New Zealand) who appear to be the only survivors in the aftermath of a fatal global pandemic.

Blood Bond begins with some of the New Zealand branch having rescued several British family members from the repressive medieval-style regime established by Nigel, a tyrannical patriarch, at Haver Hall near Kent, England. The fleeing group sails back to the Southern Hemisphere, facing unexpected dangers and fracturing relationships at stopovers in South Africa and Australia as they search for supplies, and other survivors.

Meanwhile the family remaining in England battle to survive Nigel and his sons’ wrath at the escape, before planning a coup – but would a new ‘democratic’ regime be any better than Nigel’s dictatorial one, or would self-interest and retribution lead to political short-cuts, power-plays and eventual savagery?

Although it’s the second in a trilogy, Blood Bond is a thrilling and enjoyable read even for those that haven’t read Blood Line (the first in the series, published in 2008). I quickly picked up the ‘backstory’, and increasingly found the pages whirring as Green intercut between the events unfolding at Haver Hall, and those on the yacht Archangel.

One of the best things about the novel, apart from the exciting events, is the way in which Green raises questions, in amongst the twisting plotline, about how humans interact with each other, especially when under tremendous pressure. When everything is stripped away, what would we do when it comes to protecting our family? How interested in the good of the group would even the most community-minded amongst us, really be?

Green, who lives on his yacht Raconteur in Gulf Harbour, has written the series to help raise funds for LifeLine, the telephone counseling charity. Regardless of the great cause, it’s a book many thriller fans would enjoy, and should consider buying.

This review was first published in the print edition of NZLawyer magazine (issue 122, 2 October 2009).

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