Closer Than Blood

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

WHAT a fast paced , page turner of a crime thriller this book is. As the line on the book says ‘ You would do anything for your family . Wouldn’t you ?’ This is what faces PC Gareth Bell when he attempts to take down a drug dealer only to find out he’s facing his brother. A brother he thought had been dead for years , yet here he is large as life and running away from Gareth. The story then follows Gareth as he tries to make sense of his brothers return and to also deal with the consequences that his reappearance spark. Follow the investigation as it rushes at speed page after page. Clues mount up, rocks are turned over and potential leads are followed all in the name of truth and justice. So while Gareth tracks his brother and the gangs that are after what he potentially has in his possession , he has to keep up his professionalism above the need to protect his brother whatever the cost. The experience the author has of police procedures add many authentic layers to the story giving it great depth and gritty realism. A police thriller i became totally engrossed in so such so I devoured it within hours of starting the first page. I loved the way the tension mounted through the book as it became a race against time both professionally and personally to Gareth. It played out perfectly the choices he faced as an officer and a brother and how when both worlds collide in such a fashion it becomes more and more difficult to keep those worlds apart.
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This is the first book I have read by Paul Grzegorzek, his being The Follow. This can easily be read as a standalone and I will be definitely reading The Follow.

Set in Brighton, the book is told from the perspective of PC Gareth Bell who is on a drugs raids when he comes across his brother. Many believed him to be dead so Bell is put in a comprising position. He finally learns the truth about Jake, who is on the run from a gang who will kill him.

This is a fast paced thriller that keeps you turning the pages as Bell struggles to choose between family and his job. There is also more heartbreak for him as he struggles with a big loss.

An excellent read.
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Sergeant Gareth Bell is on a surveillance operation, they are watching a drug deal taking place hoping to catch them as the transaction takes place. But, he recognises the drug dealer, as his brother ! All hell breaks out then and ends with his brother, Jake, jumping into the sea.

He finally catches up with him and finds out he has stolen something from the Russians and they now want him dead. Can Gareth save his brother?

This is an incredible, action packed thriller, all set in Brighton. Told from Gareth’s perspective, it gives insight into his character. He’s short tempered, prone to act first and think later, but he is also dealing with a broken marriage and his father’s ill health. It feels personal, a journey through just about every emotion while trying to do what’s right.

A well written, gritty, gripping and emotion packed thriller, with plenty of surprises to make this a real page turner. I can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to The publishers and NetGalley for a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.
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It’s easy to see why crime fiction titan Peter James was full of praise for Paul Grzegorzek’s Brighton set thrillers featuring PC Gareth Bell. Authentic, fast-paced and action-packed, Paul Grzegorzek’s books are first class thrillers and in his second novel, Closer Than Blood, he has written a page-turning tale of loyalty, family strife and deception that will make your heart rate skyrocket.

PC Gareth Bell is on the case and he is about to arrest a cocaine dealer on Brighton Marina. Ridding the streets of heartless dealers pushing drugs onto the young and vulnerable is all in a day’s work for a police officer, however, Gareth quickly realises that this is no ordinary day in the office. While cops arrest drug dealers on a regular basis, this time the man Gareth has to arrest is not a faceless criminal whom he wouldn’t hesitate to chuck behind bars but somebody from his past whom he never thought he would see ever again. Gareth’s discovery that the dealer he is about to arrest is none other than Jake, the brother he had thought long dead, rocks the foundations of his very existence, however, this family reunion is underscored by danger and jeopardy as Jake is on the run and has absolutely nobody to turn to.

A cold-blooded killer will do whatever it takes to shut Jake up permanently and he will stop at nothing until Jake is dead and buried. However, this is no ordinary murderer, but somebody so powerful and so well-connected that he has people in the police ready to do their bidding. Jake is on borrowed time and the clock is ticking. Nobody can keep him safe and he has nobody he can trust – not even his brother, who finds himself at a crossroads torn between loyalty to his brother and duty to his job.

What is Gareth going to do? Whatever he decides, there will be a hell of a price to pay, but it is not game over yet. Can Gareth Bell save his brother and bring down an evil criminal? Or is this a situation from which there simply is no escape?

Closer Than Blood is a brilliant page-turner that will leave you breathless. Paul Grzegorzek does not skimp on the action, danger or suspense and he has penned a heart-stopping thriller where the stakes are sky-high, the pace never flags and the twists and turns will leave you with your jaw on the floor.

A first class page-turner with well-rounded characters, vivid descriptions and shocks and thrills aplenty, Closer Than Blood is compulsively readable crime fiction that should not be missed.
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Great sequel which can be read as a standalone. A gritty thriller set in the underbelly of Brighton, Definitely worth a read! Fast paced and unputdownable once you start! Thoroughly enjoyes this one, have bought Paul's first book in the series, I enjoyes it that much!!
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Sergeant Gareth Bell and his colleagues are part of a team hot on the heels of a drug dealer on his way to meet a contact. Much to his shock and disbelief, it was Jake, the brother who he hadn’t seen for years, meeting the dealer.

Jake had disappeared years ago. Gareth and his father believed he must have been dead from a drug overdose, but it seems he’s on the run from a vicious gang who won’t think twice about killing him. Jake escapes taking the evidence with him, Gareth giving chase until Jake is boxed in. Determined not to be taken by the police Jake takes the only other option open to him, diving twenty metres into the sea.

Told in the first person from Gareth’s perspective, the narrative lets the reader experience his thoughts and emotions as he goes all out to find his brother. Maybe I missed out not having read the first book, but initially I didn’t particularly take to Gareth—he seemed to go his own way regardless of orders or his team…an act first and think later character who loves a fight, but the fall out is that his decisions just lead him into more dangerous situations, not to mention trouble with his superiors. He says it as he sees it and is hot-headed but his heart is in the right place.

The action is non stop with a fair slice of violence and bad language. Gareth is dealing with a lot of stuff, including his father’s terminal illness and eventual passing—the scenes between the two of them are poignant and written with genuine feeling (after reading the author’s note at the end, I understand why). He really wants to save his brother and make good on his promise to his dad, which did make me begin to see him in a slightly different light. 

The plot is fast paced with several unexpected twists that drove the sto
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Closer Than Blood by Paul Grzegorzek
PC Gareth Bell Thriller #2

What would you do for family? PC Gareth Bell has to face this question as he deals with a situation that puts his family in a precarious life threatening situation. Will he call to his brothers in arms or go it alone to try and keep his father, brother and ex-wife safe? And, will his decision be the correct one or not? 

What I liked: 
* Gareth: a strong man, policeman and friend. He has suffered and changed a great deal over a choice he made ten years before. I liked him as a person and was rooting for him as he worked his way through the case
* Gareth’s father: he might be dealing with cancer but he seemed a good man able to raise a good son
* Sally: Gareth’s ex-wife, stalwart and wise...would like to get to know her more in the future.
* The fact that the bad guys were not one diimensional
* The police wo/men that Gareth worked with
* The twist at the end

What I did not like: 
* The powerful doing the dastardly things they did
* The regrettable loss of life that might have been prevented
* The people meant to be disliked…

I found this to be a story I became invested in. I was hoping that it would all come out right but wasn’t sure all of the people I wanted to remain alive actually would. I have not read anything by this author before but would definitely like to read more of his work in the future. 

Thank you to NetGalley and BOTBS Publicity for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

5 Stars
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I have a small confession to make.  Although I have the first book in the PC Gareth Bell series called 'The Follow', I haven't actually read it yet.  What a mistake to make.  I had heard lots of good things about Paul's work from other bloggers so I knew that I would be in for a treat when I finally did read one of Paul's books.  When I was invited to take place in the blog tour for 'Closer Than Blood', I thought that I would be able to kill two birds with one stone in that I would be able to take part in the blog tour and secondly I would finally get to read one of Paul's books.  I vastly underestimated just how much of a treat 'Closer Than Blood' was going to be.  I absolutely LOVED reading 'Closer Than Blood' but more about that in a bit.
I have to say that I took to PC Gareth Bell from the start and that I even developed something of a soft spot for him.  Trouble seems to follow him around.  He is assisting in a drug bust but it all goes wrong when he realises that one of the 'dealers' just happens to be his brother, who went missing and hasn't been heard or seen for many years.  Bell forgets what he is supposed to be doing and tries to find out just where his brother has been all these years.  Bell's brother is on the run from some pretty shady characters.  Bell gets a bit of a rollicking for the failure of the operation.  Bell has poop flying at him from all directions both from his professional and his personal life.  His father suffers from pancreatic cancer and he is receiving end of life care in a hospice.  I can't even begin to imagine the sort of strain that Bell must be under with the impending death of his father, the reappearance of his criminal brother, the fact that his work life isn't going to plan and there are some pretty nasty gangsters running around after the brother.  I found Bell to be a caring and compassionate individual, with a sensitive nature but he is also very brave and he can be a hard nut when he has to be.
I have to say that 'Closer Than Blood' was a bit of a difficult read for me.  I don't mean that to sound like a criticism of the author.  About six months ago, we lost a very good friend to pancreatic cancer and we are still grieving his loss.  To cut a long story short, our family friend was badly let down by the medical profession.  He was diagnosed as having kidney stones or gallstones but by the time the real cause of his agonising pain was discovered, it was too late as his body was riddled with cancer.  I later discovered that pancreatic cancer is known as the silent killer because by the time the disease is diagnosed, it's too late.  I hope you can appreciate the difficulty I had in reading in.  Anyway enough of the explanation and back to the review.
It didn't take me long at all to get into this story and reading the book soon became an addiction.  I couldn't bear to be parted from 'Closer Than Blood' and it travelled everywhere with me.  When I realised just how blinking good this book was, then I decided that I wouldn't be moving very far or doing anything other then reading the book.  I tried to ration how much I read in one spell because I wanted to prolong my enjoyment of the book but that attempt at rationing failed because I was enjoying the book so much that I literally couldn't stop reading.  I read the book over the course of a day.  Normally I find it hard to concentrate and I am easily distracted but not in this case.  Whilst reading this book I was in my own little bubble and I was able to shut out all other distractions.
'Closer Than Blood' is superbly written.  In fact I was blown away by the quality of the writing and by the quality of the storylines.  The author certainly knows how to grab your attention from the start and he draws you into the story.  Once the author has your attention he will not release it until after you have read the last word on the last page.  Paul writes so realistically and uses such vivid descriptions that I really did feel as though I was an extra character in the book and that I was part of the story myself.  The story  is made all the more authentic by the fact that the author himself was, himself,  a police officer.
Reading 'Closer Than Blood' really did feel as though I was on one hell of a fast paced, scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with more twists and turns than you would find on a 'Snakes & Ladders' board.  Just when you thought that you could reclaim your stomach and gather your thoughts, then off the action would go again.  If you want a read that will leave you gripped and on the edge of your seat throughout then 'Closer Than Blood' is the book for you.
In short, 'Closer Than Blood' is one hell of a read, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.  Now I realise how fantastic an author Paul is, I can guarantee that I will be reading more of his work in the future, starting with 'The Follow'.  I would definitely recommend this book to other readers.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
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Closer Than Blood is the second book in the DS Gareth Bell series and what an action-packed and completely riveting tale this is right from the very beginning. This is one those books you will not be able to stop yourself tearing through. It's a gritty, gripping and fast-paced police procedural with twists and turns that leave you gobsmacked. The author writes with such authenticity which I am sure comes from his time as a police officer; it really gives the story an injection of reality. Brighton intelligence officer Gareth Bell is keeping tabs on a drug deal when he discovers, to his horror, that one of those involved in the illegal activity is his estranged brother Jake whom he hasn't seen for two decades. When he eventually gets to speak to his brother he informs Gareth that he is in fear for his life and on the run from a gang he stupidly stole from.

This is a high-octane, adrenaline-fuelled tale and Gareth is a straight-talking protagonist who is just on the correct side of likeable. There is quite a but of violence and profanity throughout, however, it was not gratuitous and fit extremely well with the story being told. As Gareth desperately tries to save Jake from his fate at the hands of the gang we follow him from one mini-investigation to the next trying to find the goods that were stolen and save the day. It is a completely addictive read and one of the best thrillers I have had the pleasure to pick up this year. If you are wondering if you need to have read the preceding book the answer is no; this book stands well on its own as the story is self-contained. Grzegorzek is back with a bang in a high tension, highly entertaining novel. Highly recommended. Many thanks to One More Chapter for an ARC.
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Paul Grzegorzek is a writer who writes with real authenticity. Having spent several years in the police force himself, you know that you are safely in the hands of a writer who knows his stuff. 

Closer Than Blood is a real page-turner and a thrill a minute. In the second book in his PC Gareth Bell series, Paul takes us deep into Brighton’s murky underworld and the latest case that Gareth finds himself wrapped up in may pose a critical threat to national security. He knows that this particular case certainly isn’t going to be an easy ride, and there is a real sense of imminent danger. 

I recently read the first book in this series, The Follow and there was something about PC Gareth Bell that made both of these books feel so fresh. He is a police officer who doesn’t always abide by the law, sometimes he will disobey orders from his superiors, but he will only do this with good reason to and with getting justice as the ultimate aim. And this is something that I really liked about him. He is never predictable. 

The case Gareth is investigating hits far too close to home for his liking. For many years his family suspected that his brother, Jake was dead, but to Gareth’s utter bewilderment he discovers he is alive and in a hell of a lot of trouble. And his brother’s problems are about to land on his doorstep when some seriously nasty people start threatening Gareth and the people he loves. What exactly has his brother got himself involved in? How are any of them going to make it out of this alive?

After reading the opening chapters, I was desperate to know who it was that Gareth’s brother had upset so badly and what he had done to deserve this. I was hooked straight away. When it is revealed that Jake had stolen something from the people who are trying to kill him, I flew through the book to find out what it was. 

If you are looking for a crime novel that is pacy and filled with thrills from the get-go, then I would definitely recommend Closer Than Blood. The storyline is gritty and will have you totally invested in the plot and the characters. I can’t recommend this book and this series highly enough. 

I can’t wait to read more from Paul Grzegorzek!
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It was an action-filled, swift-paced, rip-roaring thriller of a book which felt more like a movie.

PC Gareth Bell was to arrest a cocaine dealer, and it turned out to be long lost, thought to be dead brother Jake. Gareth botched up the arrest, and he was reprimanded. Wanting to meet their dying father, Jake came home at the dead of the night and brought trouble along. He had stolen from the Russians, and they wanted their stuff back. Jake was in the air, and Gareth had 48 hours to find him. The race began...

My first book by author Paul Grzegorzek, and it was so much fun. Not a moment was spent in thinking about the why and how. I just wanted to be where Gareth was, in the middle of action. A lone warrior, he was larger than life and the driving force behind the book. I was in awe of the author's mind as he drew up the different strategies and the twists in them. Everything was linked so well in the end.

Paul's writing was lucid, gave me a clear imagery of the scenes. As I said earlier, just like a movie. Midway through the book, the stakes became higher, and I knew that nothing would stand in Gareth's way. He was a man on the hunt. I could almost hear the music playing in the background, rising in tempo as Gareth walked away, fists clenched and murder on his mind.

I enjoyed every line, every scene, every emotion that hit me in the book, from the adrenaline high of the action scenes to the lump in the throat when Gareth's father died. I enjoyed this book in toto, and reading the author's note at the end of the book made me respect the author more as he went about writing the book while mourning for his father. SIMPLY BRILLIANT!!
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5 Stars from me!

I can't recommend this book enough. I felt a genuine excitement while reading Closer than Blood as it dawned on me that this book wasn't just good, it was bloody brilliant! It is likened in the blurb to a Peter James style book but I would suggest it is more a hybrid of Peter James and Simon Kernick - it is clever, it is FAST, it has a subtle dry wit, it is exciting - honestly I was very rapidly utterly engrossed and couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

PC Gareth Bell is a great character, he is charismatic and the scenes with his dad are, simply, beautiful. It is quite obvious when reading these little snippets that they are written from a deeply personal place and it makes them touch just the right chord.

Brighton makes for the prefect backdrop and it is fab to hear landmarks and visual descriptions of properties and areas as the characters make their way around the town.

I liked the friendships, I liked the bad guys (and gals), I liked the edginess, the fear, the fight scenes (usually skip them so they must have been good!), the sentiment and the general air of peril throughout the whole thing.

As the eagle-eyed among you may have gathered, I really enjoyed this book and heartily recommend it. I can't wait to read more by this author.
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Closer Than Blood by Paul Grzegorzek was a brilliant read for me. Lots of action, and all the thrills and spills you'd except from a psychological, crime thriller.  I found the whole premise - dying dad on his deathbed wants nothing more than to get his family back together and happy before his death - really intriguing. Especially when the lead character, Gareth Bell, is closing in a drug deal, only to discover his brother Jake is part of it, and he is supposed to be dead! 

What to do -- arrest his brother, or protect him? If only it was as simple as that.  As well as being a great crime story, the characters are really believable, flawed, and stupid mistake under pressure. You know that feeling that life throws at you sometimes, where you don't think things can get any worse - and it does? 

As stories go, the characterisation, police procedural details and the deeper heartfelt message I gleamed form this book, made this an entertaining, high tension read! (Even though I knew  this was not the first book in the series, I never even noticed that as I read). 

Thank you NetGalley, the publisher and Sarah from BOTBS for my copy. This is my unbiased, honest review.
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Wow! What a gripping, high speed novel!! DS Gareth Bell is on a stakeout when he recognises his brother Jake who has been missing for many years, believed dead and is involved in a drug dealing deal. Having blow his cover, Jake takes to his heels with his brother giving chase. When he finally catches up with Jake, he is shocked to hear of the mess his brother is in, with drug gangs after him. The action starts from the very first page and does not disappoint. Set in Brighton, the story has violent moments and sad moments. If you like plenty of action, then this is for you.
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You know that way that a book just captures you from the moment that you open the first page? Well Closer Than Blood was one of those books for me!
It’s the second in the Gareth Bell series and I cannot believe that I missed the first one! It reads perfectly well as a standalone, although I now have to go back and read the first one to get more of my Paul Grzegorzek fix!
Fans of the author’s work will recognise, John Cooper, from “But For The Grace of God” but this one is most definitely Gareth Bell’s story and what a story it is!
Gareth Bell is closing in on a major drug deal when he recognises the dealer as his missing brother Jake. He’s thrown into a situation that will not only have implications for his career but also for his family and those close to him. What follows next is a highly charged and fast paced race against time for Gareth. A tightly plotted and action packed narrative will take your breath away and then some! The author manages to use the most exquisite description in his narrative without it feeling like I’m wading through treacle to get to the point. He brings the story alive When DS Gareth Bell discovers his brother, whom he thought had been dead for the last 20years, very much alive and embroiled in some hard-core drug dealing, the tension ramps up a notch: on one hand Gareth wants to do his job and arrest Jake but on the other he wants to protect him too This one has it all, the setting, the characters and the plot...and the fight scenes! I could almost hear the bones break! A strong punchy narrative keeps the tension high. Gareth Bell describes himself as a shit magnet and god is that true! Trouble follows him everywhere! The story is told from his point of view and in the first person placing me firmly inside of his head. Not always the nicest of places to be. The scenes between Gareth and his dad, who is in a hospice had me welling up, they were so emotional and most definitely written from the heart.
Brighton is one of my most favourite places in the world, it’s vibrant culture sits alongside a darker and more dangerous side of the city and the author brings it to life through his writing; I could almost smell the sea and feel the air on my face as I turned each page and found myself transported to the streets of the city.
Closer Than Blood starts with a bang and promises action and tension; it does not fail to deliver; drug wars, international gangs and a whole shit load of trouble for Gareth Bell, it’s tense, it’s harsh and it’s thrilling. Don’t miss it!
(Review will be on blog as part of the blog tour)
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Great story.  If I could give Paul Grzegorzek 6 out of 5 stars I would.  Fabulous thrilling plot and characters.
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This was  a fast paced well written thriller with plenty of action packed in it, Although i didnt read the first book in the series i felt it was still able to read without missing out too much
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OMG where do I start?! I absolutely devoured this book and have to say, I loved it even more than The Follow! Hard-hitting, action-packed and full of emotion I didn’t see coming - this is one of my Top Reads for 2019! 

Full review to follow as part of the blog tour but Paul G has done it again! I bloody LOVED it!

Highly recommended!
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This book did not hold my attention for long, as it was not keeping my interest. However iy could be suitable for other readers.
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Excellent psychological thriller!  It moved at a fast pace with twists and turns throughout!  Well-developed characters and plot.  Highly recommend!
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