Lisa Doucet Reviews Jo Treggiari’s Blood Will Out

Be thrilled, be horrified, but think it through

Blood Will Out
Jo Treggiari
Penguin Random House Canada
(Teen and Young Adult)

When Ari Sullivan wakes up, wounded and in complete darkness, it takes her some time to determine where she is and what has happened. She is at the bottom of a cistern, where someone threw her. Someone who will presumably return to finish her off. 

As she becomes more conscious of her predicament, the sheer terror gives her the strength to finally, painfully haul herself out of the well and back to civilization. Ari then discovers that her best friend, Lynn, has disappeared. Ari has every reason to believe that Lynn is now in the hands of a psychopathic killer. 

Unable to convince the authorities to take her seriously, Ari must overcome near-paralyzing fear to find a way to save Lynn and stop the would-be killer.

A heart-pounding psychological drama from an acclaimed Nova Scotian author, this book slowly, steadily works its way toward its climactic—and surprising—conclusion.  Alternating perspectives between Ari and the antagonist build tension and allow the reader to see inside the dark and twisted mind of Ari’s attacker.

While Ari’s chapters are set entirely in the present and highlight her mind-numbing fear and desperation, the unknown villain’s chapters tell his story from childhood to the present day, giving readers the chance to see the sad circumstances that shaped this person, and challenging us to remember his humanity and vulnerability even in the face of his horrific deeds.

This book succeeds as a suspense-filled thriller but also as an invitation to think about how often we fail to look beyond the surface of the people in our lives, how easy it is to see only we want and/or expect to see, and what a tragedy that can ultimately be. 

While the book is necessarily very graphic in its depiction of violence and cruelty, it is equally vivid in its depiction of friendship, making it a thriller that provides much room for thought.

Written By

Lisa Doucet is the co-manager of Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax. She shares her passion for children’s and young adult books as our young readers editor and book reviewer.

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