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Life Blood    by Penny Rudolph order for
Life Blood
by Penny Rudolph
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I read Penny Rudolph's Thicker than Blood and truly enjoyed it. So when Life Blood appeared on my desk, I was almost afraid to start it. You know. Anticipation and all that. I was sure it couldn't live up to my expectations, which were pretty high. I had nothing to worry about. Life Blood starts off with a bang and never lets up.

Rachel Chavez inherited her uncle's parking garage. She runs it while living in an apartment on the top level. The characters who gather around her are wonderfully diverse. There's Irene, a street woman who has a fur coat and a cell phone, and babysits the garage when Rachel needs her. Her friend Goldie runs a corporate cleaning service. Bold and brassy, Goldie is a softy at heart. Rachel's father Marty is another character with lots of charm but not enough self-discipline to stay away from the poker table. He literally lost the family farm and spends his days trying to hit it big to make it up to his daughter.

When two dying children are left in a parked van in her garage, Rachel has to get involved. Life kicks up a notch or two at that point. Suspense and intrigue take over as Rachel uncovers a plot to make money under the guise of doing good. Love is a small ingredient but is welcome because it helps to make Rachel just like the rest of us. Our lives are split in different pockets. Depends on the moment which hand goes in which pocket. Life Blood is a fast-moving, action-packed novel. A thoroughly satisfying read.

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