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Blood Ties (Julie Collins Series #1) [Paperback]

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Item description for Blood Ties (Julie Collins Series #1) by Lori G. Armstrong...

Julie Collins is stuck in a dead-end secretarial job with the Bear Butte County Sheriff's office, and still grieving over the unsolved murder of her Lakota half-brother. Lack of public interest in finding his murderer, or the killer of several other transient Native American men, has left Julie with a bone-deep cynicism she counters with tequila, cigarettes, and dangerous men. The one bright spot in her mundane life is the time she spends working part-time as a PI with her childhood friend, Kevin Wells. When the body of a sixteen-year old white girl is discovered in nearby Rapid Creek, Julie believes this victim will receive the attention others were denied. Then she learns Kevin has been hired, mysteriously, to find out where the murdered girl spent her last few days. Julie finds herself drawn into the case against her better judgment, and discovers not only the ugly reality of the young girl's tragic life and brutal death, but ties to her and Kevin's past that she is increasingly reluctant to revisit. On the surface the situation is eerily familiar. But the parallels end when Julie realizes some family secrets are best kept buried deep. Especially those serious enough to kill for.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   373
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 4.25" Height: 6.75"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2005
Publisher   Medallion Press
ISBN  1932815325  
ISBN13  9781932815320  

Availability  0 units.

More About Lori G. Armstrong

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lori G. Armstrong left the firearms industry in 2000 to pursue her dream of writing crime fiction. She lives in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Lori G. Armstrong currently resides in Rapid City, in the state of South Dakota.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
4Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General
5Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Blood Ties (Julie Collins Series #1)?

Excellent start to a new series  Dec 26, 2007
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up all three of Lori Armstrong's books in the Julie Collins series. I don't read a lot of mystery, and I now realize that I've been missing out. How can I not root for such a passionate, flawed heroine? Wonderful writing, excellent characterization and a rich plot make this series a keeper.
Good Debut -- Three and Half Stars  Sep 19, 2006
BLOOD TIES is Lori Armstrong's debut mystery and I liked it overall. This novel was recently nominated for a Shamus award (for best PI book), so I thought it was worth a read. This is the first novel in a series, with the second book coming out later this year.

The 34-year old heroine of BLOOD TIES, Julie Collins, works for Bear Butte County Sheriff's Office. She works there in the hopes of finding the person who killed her half-brother Ben Stalking Elk (all of this is explained as background). Over the last five years five Native Americans like Ben have been murdered, but another body of a 16-year old girl has been discovered. Julie teams up with her friend, private detective Kevin Wells, to find out the girl's killer. Along the way, she uncovers a lot more than she bargains for.

The main plot of this book is just okay. This is a standard serial killer mystery, where the identity of the killer isn't revealed until the end. There are a lot of characters in this novel, and it was hard for me to keep track of all the different names and relationships. Next time, I hope Armstrong does a better job of streamlining the plot.

The real attraction of BLOOD TIES is the characterization. The main character, Julie Collins, is a very likable person, and I found myself rooting for her. Julie is no angel -- she likes to swear, drink, smoke, and get laid. But she is a very compassionate person at heart, and it's hard not to fall in love with her crusading spirit.

Armstrong is a good writer. There is a subplot in this novel involving a neglected child that was just heartbreaking to read. She also does a good job of describing the day-to-day life in Sioux City, South Dakota, a small city that I would probably never get to know if it wasn't for this novel. Be warned though -- this book has a fair amount of graphic violence, sex, and profanity. Not the type of book to give to your grandmother (at least mine, anyway).

Overall, this book was a fun read and I look forward to the next in the series. Armstrong certainly has talent, and I hope she makes the jump to a larger publisher in the near future.

Great cover, good read overall.  Jun 23, 2005
This book has a fantastic cover, which is what drew me to it initially. I like to read horror predominantly, and so I grabbed it. It turns out that this book is a mystery and that the author lives in my home town. The story itself is set in the Black Hills area as well. This is Armstrong's first novel, and is exceptional in that context. She stays true to area geography, landmarks and history. For instance, the series of mysterious deaths among homeless Native Americans used as back story really happened, and the biker organization known as the Bandidos really do ride here. Armstrong's characters are realistic, everyday people you can easily visualize. The heroine is one you can sympathize with and root for, with one or two exceptions where she gets a little "boy crazy" (she's attracted to at least three different men in the course of the book.) There are also moments of extreme violence which help keep the book interesting (for a horror fan like me). Lots of plot twists and revelations to keep you turning pages, although the chapters don't necessarily end with cliffhangers, so there are moments you may be tempted to put the book down for a while. Overall, I am glad I purshased this book.
amazing  May 20, 2005
this book is one that will keep you in suspense. i read it in two days just because i had to know what would happen next! great storyline. i can't wait for the next book. way to go lori, two thumbs up!!!!
Compelling Thriller!!!  May 5, 2005
Julie has been haunted by death. First her mother dies in a car accident, and than her half brother is murdered. The crime goes unsolved and Julie thinks it's due to the fact that her brother was half Lakota. Still reeling from her lose, Julie takes a job in the Bear Butte County Sheriff's department hoping that maybe, just maybe she will get a little peace. She couldn't be more wrong when a new murder turns up and it turns out the young victim is a sixteen year old white girl. Now everyone is interested in solving the murder. At the same time she finds out that her best friend and local PI Kevin has been on the case investigating the last two weeks of Samantha's life. He asks for Julie's help and she reluctantly gives it since this case hits just a little too close to home. Still before she knows it she and Kevin are getting closer and closer to a killer, and the killer is starting to get nervous. People connected to Samantha are starting to turn up dead. Is Kevin or Julie the next to fall victim to a murder that will stop at nothing to protect his secret?

I was blown away by this mystery. I started and finished this book in one sitting. The murder mystery kept me guessing until the very end and the characters were wonderfully developed. I loved Julie and Kevin not only was their relationship fun, but it was different. I loved their dynamics. I would love to see Ms. Armstrong expand on their relationship in another story. They are a great investigating duo! Ms. Armstrong took great care and effort in creating her world so the reader will feel truly drawn into what's happening. Julie is a very complex character and she made me laugh, and cry. Or should I say I laughed and cried with her. I highly, highly recommend Ms. Armstrong's debut read. She provides plenty of edge of your seat reading.

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