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LocalLit book review: 'Necessary Blood' by R. Michael Markley of Joliet

R. Michael Markley's first book "Necessary Death," was fast-paced with Christian themes. I'm anticipating the sequel will have a similar structure and tone.
R. Michael Markley's first book "Necessary Death," was fast-paced with Christian themes. I'm anticipating the sequel will have a similar structure and tone.

I said it back in March when I reviewed R. Michael Markley's first book "Necessary Death" and I'll say it here again.

I'm not very familiar with crime genre or stories about organized crime. I don't read it and I don't watch it. I've never even watched any of "The Godfather" movies.

My introduction to the genre was "Necessary Death," which was a fast-paced read with strong Christian themes.

I anticipated the sequel would be similar in terms of structure and tone, and I was correct.

It also ended with the plot unresolved and on a cliffhanger, making me assume Markley is working on a third book in this series.

Here is the Amazon description of "Necessary Blood:" Michael Marello is in a battle to keep his company from falling into the hands of the mafia. For years he has been successful. But now things have changed. Associates have died. The streets are blood filled.

"Michael learns who is trying to take his business away. But unseen forces make it more difficult. Trying his best to keep what is his. Michael knows what needs to be done, but questions his true motives. Is taking a life right? He has destroyed so many it now plays with his mind.

"The mafia sends a message Michael didn't see coming. Facing new challenges and changes. Changes he is unwilling to make."

Markley used many of the same styles in "Necessary Blood" that he used in "Necessary Death."

The plot is taut, the dialogue is tight, and Markley tells the story from multiple points of view, although Michael is clearly the main character.

I found it interesting that the protagonist had a similar name to the author. I'm not certain if that's a coincidence, a nod to Markley's love for the genre, or if the similarity has a deeper theological meaning.

It reminded me of the line from the musical "1776" when the character of John Hancock fears the U.S. might be built with the "mark of Cain," setting brother against brother.

Although "Necessary Blood" belongs in the Christian as well as crime genre, the book isn't saturated with religious references. Markley makes his point but they are woven into the story; they are not "in your face," so to speak.

Local readers especially will enjoy Markley's local references:

"Outside the Titan warehouse on Laraway Road, along Route 53..."

And a reference to a Lockport restaurant that serves up wonderful food and atmosphere (on p. 94). The food is always great.

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