Top positive review
Another winner by Shea
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 30, 2020
Not as streamlined pacing-wise as his first entry, Murder Board, but Brian Shea made it very easy to get invested in Bleeding Blue (Blue). While they didn't feel two-dimensional the first time around, the characterizations are expanded to encompass more people, and we are taken on a deep dive into most of their backgrounds, as well as the area of Boston known as "The Dot" in the book (and probably in real life too).
Blue focuses more on the organized crime groups in Boston; not Michael Kelly's beat, and not normally my cup of tea in a crime drama. However, the situations our character's are thrust into make it difficult for them to avoid that dangerous, and territorial, underbelly of most (if not all) major cities. Trusts are betrayed and causes are blurred on both sides of the thin blue line; everything one would want in a story like this.
My criticisms for the book were few and far between. As I said above, mafia stories are not ones I tend to lean towards. They're often so melodramatic and predictable that I just can't get into them, even many true crime stories. There was certainly drama in Blue, but just enough to keep the story grounded and hit all the intended emotional points. Also, something I mentioned when reviewing the first book was the perceived overly detailed descriptions regarding police procedure. Well, I'd say that's still the case here, and while I know authors have to write for a wider audience than their target, I like to think (and hope) the average reader can be trusted to understand what's going on than what a publisher (and movie producer) will give them credit for with a little less exposition. Maybe that's just too much optimism on my part though.
I am very much enjoying the Boston Crime series thus far, and I intend to preorder the next book once it becomes available on paperback. Whether we stay with the Irish Mob, or shift to other things a homicide detective can focus on, such as serial murder, I look forward to the next installment.