Paradox Forged in Blood

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2018

Member Reviews

We follow the lives of the Sheridan and the O'Malley families of Cleveland, Ohio from June 7,1916 with the birth of Ellen O'Malley, through to her 80th birthday on June 7, 1996. This is a novel based on the actual lives of the first generation American children of Michael and Mary O'Malley.  Through their eyes we visit the neighborhoods they inhabit in Cleveland through the depression, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and how those conflicts changed the complexion of Ohio, of the US, of that world.  

These are excellent, well balanced people for the most part - some of the bad guys are all bad - and the neighborhoods and environs of Cleveland grow with the times, as do the characters. An excellent slice of American life.  Mary Frances Fisher is an author I will follow.   

I received a free electronic  copy of this historical novel from Netgalley, Mary Frances Fisher, and Backlit PR in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.
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On December 23, 1938, a murder during a robbery in Millionaire's Row shocks the families. Louis Sheridan was a socialite and left behind his wife, two sons and infant daughter, who was looked after by Ellen O'Malley, who had previously experienced loss herself. Over the next five decades, the Sheridan and O'Malley families are linked together not just by this tragedy, but by friendship and guilt as well.

Paradox Forged in Blood is a debut novel and is based on stories handed down within Mary Frances Fisher's family. As a result, we follow the different families through the decades prior to and past the Sheridan murder, getting to know the family members. This helps us to understand the motivations for everyone involved. Because Ellen witnessed her infant brother's kidnapping, she would do anything to keep her family safe, even if that means keeping silent about clues that would lead to the murderer. We get flashes of the killer's thought process intermittently, which actually points us in various directions as to his identity Everything is revealed at the end of the book so that the families are able to get some kind of closure.

There is some tension in several parts of the book, but this is not a thriller. The identity of Louis' killer is a mystery, but hardly the central focus of the book. There are more characters and side stories besides that of the Sheridan murder, which drops the tension level. We do care about them, and it's wonderful to see what happens with Sadie and the Sheridan boys after the heartache they experienced as children. This is a book more for those that love historical fiction or family sagas.
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This is a compilation of stories from the life of the main character, Ellen O’Malley Szabo. It is advertised as a factual account with family stories interspersed in the book. The story is tied together by the relationship of the characters to each other and the effect of each on the others’ lives. A brother of Ellen is kidnapped and the story takes off from there. The baby is never returned and the lives of the family change because of this void even though another child is born. The story touches on the Lindberg kidnapping and the Great Depression. The author did a great job with description and time periods but the book began to drag a bit for me. I would only mildly recommend it.
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This book was difficult for me to get into, but I am in a huge depression (one of my major mental illnesses) so that could have been part of my issue with it. By and by the author knew her research & the era that she chose to write in. The characters were all well written and left enough to the imagination for me.  The story line and plot was a bit difficult for me to get into but with what I said earlier that could be the issue. I would choose to read this book again once I feel better and see if my review changes.  

I think part of my problem was that if Ellen O’Malley along with the maid had a backbone then the crime would have been solved right after it happened, but they did not have a backbone. Yes, I understand that their families were threatened and I can not, honestly, say I would not do the same thing. I would like to think that I would have told the police or at the very least talked over with my family for their suggestions. That part of the story line really bothered me a lot.

I would recommend reading this book. The mystery of the crook will keep you guessing even though you think you know who it is and you are right, but at the same time you are completely wrong. It was a very interesting first book and I look forward to seeing what Mary Frances Fisher writes next.
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A really good debut novel! What caught my attention, and why I wanted to read this novel, was the time period. I love reading anything to do with WWII and Nazi Germany. However, even though this book does touch on the Holocaust, that is the not the main theme of the story. It is a story about how lives are intersected, how we are all connected in one way or another,  and how sometimes, secrets (however wrong they might be) are kept to protect those we love.  I downloaded this book today and finished it within a few hours. Thank you #NetGalley and #BacklitPR for the digital copy to read and review.
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This book is a good account of mystery and historical fiction..At times it was repetitive,  boring  and confusing with so many characters that I all most gave up..Glad I didn't because I really did like how all the characters were meshed together.. Thank you netgalley for letting me review this book.
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This book is so much more than historical fiction; it’s about the characters that are described so well you begin to believe they are real and that you are a part of the family. To say this is a mystery about a murder on Millionaire’s Row is to oversimplify the complexity of the story. One tends to have to think back a few pages when another character is introduced, and there are a lot of characters. There are stories behind the main story, but without complicating it too much, I was amazed at how it all came together at the end. I fell in love with everything about this book and eagerly await Growing up O’Malley, Fisher’s companion book to Paradox Forged in Blood. If this book is an indication of things to come, we will be hearing a lot about Mary Frances Fisher – she’s that good. 
~ Linda Thompson – Host of
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