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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

NCIS: Blood Evidence by Mel Odom

Blood Evidence continues where Paid in Blood left off. Commander Will Coburn’s NCIS team is called in to rescue a Marine’s kidnapped daughter. The kidnappers are a local gang involved in illegal drugs and weapons. During the rescue, Will’s team discovers that they are also involved in the third world slave trade. There is a violent gun battle at the farm that ends with another gruesome discovery.

The body of a Marine, missing for seventeen years is found after an explosion. Found with him is a charm belonging to a girl murdered long ago. Her case is a cold case thought to have been linked to a serial killer that was caught soon after her murder.

At the same time all this is happening, Nita, the team’s medical examiner, is caught up in her own troubles. Her home life has deteriorated and she has turned to alcohol to numb the pain. This has come to Will’s attention and he finds he must deal with her marriage problems while still trying to come to grips with his own divorce.

The investigation ensues and they soon find it involves a powerful US Senator, the girl’s stepfather. Digging around for answers in the years old murder turns up plenty of skeletons long thought buried. It finds corruption, blackmail and murder in the corridors of power in DC.

As exciting as all the action and the investigation is, I was drawn more to the story of Nita Tomlinson. Her personal problems stem from a hard life as a child with a mother that was never there. She led a poor life and had no respect for her mom and as soon as she could, she left and never looked back. Her childhood trauma has affected her adult life in ways she could never have guessed and it is destroying her marriage.

She finds her mother and after a fight she watches as her mother is run down in an attempted murder. As her mother lies on the asphalt, moments from death, Nita uses her training to save her life. She knows she is destined to fail and finally, after years of running, faces her life. She prays for the first time and her mother fights back from death.

This epiphany leads her back home to her husband and child. The most memorable moment of the book follows soon after as she seeks to mend her marriage by admitting her weaknesses in front of her husband’s church. It was a very powerful scene.

The action and pace are as excellent as they could be. The characters are brought to life through the well thought and written story. Mel has included plenty of the science and methodology behind crime scene investigations but in a way that does not leave the reader feeling dumb. Another must read from Mel Odom.


Katie said...

this looks good!

Ron Simpson said...

it was. this series has a compelling edge to it. it is clean, with no sex or profanity (hard to beleive out of military men) and the action is not gory. but he suspense mel has put into it is top notch.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great story Ron. I'll have to pick it up.
Nice review!