‘Bad Blood’ was a brilliant end to the Naturals series. I’ve loved every one of Jennifer Lynn Barnes‘ characters; what I especially loved about them was how vulnerable they were, and how Barnes portrayed them as each others’ support network. Even Lia, who it took me a while to get that she wasn’t as emotionally detached from the other characters, especially Cassie, as I thought she was.
The plot was outstanding. Barnes built up to this from the previous novel ‘All In‘, and ended it perfectly in ‘Bad Blood’. Cassie and her friends were trying to hunt down the serial killer group known as the Masters, and as I crept through the book I was worried that Barnes wouldn’t resolve the situation. She did, with her usual flurry of plot twists, and it was BRILLIANT. Her plots are always so clever!!
Barnes can get into her characters’ heads so well that it just makes them so much more believable. This novel had a bittersweet feel to it – even though Barnes resolved the narrative arc, it brought the Naturals’ story to a close. I think Barnes has definitely left the story open ended, so there is potential for Cassie and her friends to make a return at some point in the future, but I think Barnes ended it in a good place.
The plot was well thought out, and my only criticism was a lot of the plot points happened in the last three chapters or so, throwing off the pacing a little bit. Barnes’ pacing through out the rest of the novel had been superb – she drip fed plot twists as the narrative progressed, making you want to carry on reading and find out what happened next. Then such a lot happened in the last 40 pages that it detracted from the shock factor. Which was a shame, because the final plot twist about Cassie’s Mum needs to be a punch to the gut for the reader to sit there gaping at the page. Hopefully this was just how it came across to me, and other readers will take away from it the reaction they should.
I loooved this series, and this was definitely a beautiful way to end the series. If you haven’t read the Naturals series yet, and like psychological thriller/crime fiction YOU NEED TO READ THIS SERIES. Also if you have read this series and loved it, I highly recommend Barnes’ other series, ‘The Fixer‘.
I give it a 4/5 and can’t wait to read whatever Barnes has next in the pipeline.