The Question of Nature v. Nurture Tackled in “In the Blood”

January 20, 2015 Book Review 7

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

The Question of Nature v. Nurture Tackled in “In the Blood”In the Blood by Lisa Unger
Published by Pocket Books on July 22nd, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 416
Source: complimentary review copy
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Is nature or nurture at fault when a child is ‘troubled?’  This is the basis of Lisa Unger’s novel In the Blood.  After years of working with abused children and their families asking that very question ~ yet never found the answer.

She thinks that we are made and not born, that it is the power of choice that forms our lives.  With enough positive energy and good feng shui we can overcome almost anything.  She’s one of those, the magical thinkers.  I think I envy her, even if I can hardly suppress my disdain.

Lana is a psychology major at a small college tucked away in upstate New York trying to escape the horrific murder of her mother six years prior.  She has a tumultuous relationship with one of her roommates, Rebecca ‘Beck,’ and sees her advisor, Langdon, as both mentor and friend.  Lana gets a job babysitting Luke, an 11-year-old troubled child attending Fieldcrest where both Lana and Langdon have worked.  When Lana has an argument with Beck over her relationship with Langdon and Beck subsequently disappears, Lana’s controlled life is turned upside down.

Lisa Unger outdid herself with this one.  In the Blood read like a true crime novel, unbelievable and yet so freaky scary enough to be true.  The plot develops more on a slow burn, perfectly paced.  Lana is disturbed enough to keep us questioning her motivations while 11-year-old Luke puts the terror in terrible!  Having read Lisa Unger’s Fragile {review here} and loving it, I can honestly say she has simply stepped up her game, giving her readers and fans a heavily researched thriller like no other.  Highly Recommended.

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