While heading to a friend’s 50th Birthday party, Rennie Carter and her partner Max Tully find themselves involved in a road rage incident that escalates to threats of violence from the other driver. Once they arrive at the party, the tension dissipates, and they enjoy the evening mingling with friends. That is, until it's time to go home and Max is nowhere to be found. A search of the surrounding area comes up with nothing and so feeling she has no other option, Rennie calls the police. 

While the police and Max's cousin and business partner James are sure that Max has simply taken some "time out", Rennie's faith in her partner leave her unconvinced. Rumours begin to circulate and Rennie's secret past starts creeping back into her thoughts. Why doesn’t anyone seem interested in searching for Max? Does the road rage incident have something to do with his disappearance? Are the rumours of his past true? Is Rennie’s secret past catching up with her?

This novel epitomises great crime writing: fast paced and full of twists, this book had me gripped until the end when we discover Max's fate. Filled with punchy writing and beautiful descriptions, Ford captures her setting in vivid detail. While set in my home city of Lake Macquarie, I could easily picture the places that Jaye was painting through her descriptive writing but even without this inside knowledge, her ability to capture place is wonderfully nuanced. Coupled with getting to know her strong, but often slightly broken female protagonists in most of her books is always a joy (and getting to know Rennie was no exception here), the depth of Ford’s characterisation folds out beautifully alongside the plot.

Modern, fresh and utterly contemporary, Blood Secret is a must for lovers of suspenseful but relatable titles.

Revieved by Melissa Watt, bookseller at Harry Hartog Green Hills.