ABOUT THE BOOK
Ritchie’s life is shadowed by the death of his wife, Cat, in a car accident twenty-two years previously. He was the driver. He loves his children – Nic, who is bi-polar and often impulsive, and Jack. Both are active in the campaign to welcome asylum-seekers and refugees to Britain. His life comes to a crisis as he realises how much his children despise his trade in advertising and how much the loss of Cat still means to them all.
Ritchie abandons his career but achieves new success in driving Britain’s treatment of refugees up the political agenda. This earns him the respect of his children but brings him to the attention of Makepeace, the populist Home Secretary. Nic, his daughter, strives to show she can overcome her disorder. She infiltrates a people-trafficking gang but is arrested as a criminal. Makepeace uses this to blackmail Ritchie to help him in his political schemes. Ritchie is horrified to discover that his task is to sell the reintroduction of forced labour, modern slavery, to the public. As a result he is once again rejected by his children.
Ritchie has reached rock bottom. He is desolate but believes he can outsmart Makepeace. Blood Ties shows how he finally resolves the situation, embraces the causes his children hold dear and reunites his family.
Set only slightly in the future, 2022, this story has a realistic feel about it in today’s political climate. Richie is a widower of 22 years and has two grown-up children who are both heavily involved in politics and legislation. Nic, a lawyer by profession, is a strong campaigner for refugees to come to Britain and be entitled to a living wage. Her brother Jack is also a stronger campaigner who is running for a seat in the Houses of Parliament. Richie, on the other hand, works in advertising and is often on the opposing sides to his children, something that he intends to put right.
Nic suffers from bi-polar and hates being different and being treated differently. Richie worries constantly about her as she often decides that she doesn’t need the meds any more. I really felt for him. The more Richie becomes involved he sees the extent of the passion his children have for this cause. Risks are taken that put him in a compromising position and drive a further wedge between them again.
This is a fascinating read, very modern and realistic with today’s lifestyle and political arena. Refugees, illegal immigrants and slave labour are all very topical. The twist that the author gives this story feels all too possible. It really brought goosebumps at how quickly situations were adapted and by people greedy to make money from others poverty and despair.
Another brilliantly written book by the author, who always seems very in tune with a constantly changing society.
A very well thought out storyline. Recommended Reading.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I enjoy talking to my children, holidays, hill-walking and riding my bike. I’ve worked on adventure playgrounds, as a teacher, as an antique dealer and in a social security office in Newcastle. Before that I spent a year on a Gandhian Ashram in Vijayawada, supporting myself as assistant editor on a local English-language newspaper.
In my day job I’m an academic but I believe that you can only truly understand the issues that matter to people through your feelings, your imagination and your compassion. That’s why I write novels.
My first novel, The Baby Auction, 2017, is a love story set in a fantasy world where the only rule is the law of the market. That someone should help another because they care for them simply doesn’t make sense to the citizens of Market World, any more that auctioning babies might to us. My second, Ardent Justice, 2018, is a crime story set in the world of high finance and city fat-cats, where money rules, but greed can trip even the most successful. My third, Blood Ties, 2020, is about the ties of love in a troubled family, and the bonds of debt that chain illegal immigrants to people-traffickers, and how they can be broken through self-sacrifice. I hope you enjoy them.