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This is the latest review (of Blood Related) by William Malmborg. When you’re done reading, please make sure to check out William’s very cool website here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blood Related by William Cook

Nurture or nature?  Anyone involved in such a debate would probably have a hard time pinning an answer to this question when concerning the Cunningham twins Charlie and Caleb.  Brought up by abusive parents, one of whom is a savage serial killer that often encouraged his children to take part in his horrible crimes; one could easily argue that the two were nurtured into the monsters they eventually become.  At the same time it’s hard to say nature didn’t play a part because how else could one explain the generational bloodlust the Cunningham family displays, bloodlust that seems to have begun with Charlie and Caleb’s grandfather?  Whatever the cause, the result is a pair of psychotic serial killers who show no empathy for their fellow human beings; serial killers who actually view themselves as separated and on a higher plane of existence than mankind and thus entitled to do whatever they wish to them.

As noted above, it begins early on for the twins, usually with over the top physical punishments that would easily knock any sense of goodness from within the mind of a growing child.  After that came the introduction to murder as their father brought female victims back to the basement and allowed his children to watch and sometimes take part in the torture and eventual slaying of the captive or captives.  However, the act of murder was not limited to the basement or even the house.  Lacking any control on his impulses, their father will also sometimes commit murder while the family is out and about, a situation that then calls for disposable of evidence and the cleaning up of the crime scene.  Such moments are a ‘hands on’ learning experience for Caleb and Charlie, one that will prove invaluable later in life as each matures into individual serial killers.  Of course this isn’t to say suspicion isn’t leveled on the father.  The local police — and one man in particular — are pretty sure the father is responsible for the crimes, ones that eventually become attributed to a killer known as the Dockside Ripper.  Being able to nail him down as the Dockside Ripper, however, isn’t easy, which in turn allows the body count, and the education of two budding serial killers, to grow.

Of the twins, Caleb seems the most level headed, which in turn makes him the scarier of the two when it comes to the two serial killers.  That said, Caleb does have some impulse control issues just like his father, which sometimes causes close calls with the police.  At one point it also puts him in conflict with his brother due to the slaying of a young woman that Charlie wanted to keep alive, his desire to cause chaos and the eventual breakdown of civilization leading to a different type of torture and murder than what Caleb usually takes part it.  The question is will the two be able to work together to the end that Charlie wants, while also allowing for Caleb’s desires to be realized, or will the two come into such conflict that they destroy each other.  Also, will the detective obsessed with their family and the savagery it displays be able to put an end to their reign of terror, or will he just become another victim?

Mostly told from the point of view of Caleb, but also occasionally from some of the other individuals within the story, Blood Related by William Cook is a wonderfully twisted tale of two serial killers who have no redeeming value whatsoever, yet are somehow fun to read about.  In fact, not only are they fun to read about, but at times you find yourself actually rooting for them, which can be very unsettling.  Equally unsettling is the disgust one starts to feel toward the father and Charlie, yet not toward Caleb despite his being just as ruthless as the other two.  Adding to the story and its authentic feel were the newspaper accounts, books segments, and clinical observations layered throughout the story, all of which had the feel of being real documents one would find in such media forms.  Having seen and used these types of documents in the real world when studying such subjects in school, I can honestly say the author nailed it when penning his own, and had I read them as part of a case-study I would have assumed them to be genuine.  I also would have been horrified to know that two such killers had done the things they did for as long as they did, and that a family had had produced three generations of serial killers.

Needless to say, I found Blood Related to be an excellent read, one by an author who hopefully will be releasing more works in the near future.  Until then readers will have to keep their bloodlust sated with the tale of Caleb Cunningham and his twin brother Charlie.  I promise, if this type of story is your thing you will not be disappointed.

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Blood Related now available on Amazon Kindle


‘Blood Related’ by William Cook has just been released on Amazon for Kindle. Print release to follow shortly. Please choose ‘tags’ on the ‘Blood Related’ Amazon page and make sure you share it via Twitter or Facebook. Thankyou for your patience and support. Hope you all have a great start to the New Year. Much appreciated.



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Another superb endorsement for Blood Related

Nicholas Grabowsky on 'Blood Related' by William Cook

Note: To all of you who are waiting to get a copy of ‘Blood Related’, sorry for the delay. It is quite a big book at 420 pgs and the formatting people have been having a few issues with the online version. I have seen a test-run online so I can happily tell you that it is not far away. Thanks for your patience and please stay posted as I will make the official announcement when it’s ready to go, here on The other place you can keep up with the news about BR is on Facebook on the FB Blood Related page. Thanks again for your interest and Happy Holidays to all.

p.s. Make sure you check out Nicholas Grabowsky’s brillant website here.

William Cook

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John Paul Allen quote for Blood Related

Check out my article/review I did of John Paul Allen’s fabulous book, ‘Monkey Love.’

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The reviews are starting to roll in. Here are a selection of some of the fine quotes/recommendations ‘Blood Related’ has been given so far:

“Dark and deeply disturbing”

— Jonathan Nasaw, acclaimed author of The Girls He Adored and Fear Itself.

Blood Related is a nasty but nuanced take on the serial killer genre. Cook’s bruising tale of twin psychopaths who are as cold as mortuary slabs is not for the weak-kneed.”

— Laird Barron, award-winning author of Occultation and The Imago Sequence.



“Blood Related is a terrifying psychological thriller. William Cook is an author to watch.”

— Mark Edward Hall, author of The Lost Village and The Holocaust Opera.




“William Cook makes serial killer fiction exciting again!  Expert narrative, bursting with flare, originality, and enough passion and brutality that even a real-life serial killer will love this book . . . and it’s twisted and complex enough to make you question your own sanity after the first intense read.”

— Nicholas Grabowsky, best-selling author of Halloween IV and Everborn.




“A thought-provoking thriller!”

— Guy N Smith, legendary author of Night Of The Crabs and Deadbeat




“Great – Riveting – Amazing – take your pick. I just read William Cook’s Blood Related for the second time. Both readings were followed with one thought, Wow. A horrific crime-filled tale of terror that makes us understand why we lock our doors at night, Blood Related is by far the best read I’ve experienced in years.”

— John Paul Allen, author of Monkey Love and Gifted Trust




Stay tuned, will be profiling each of these great authors in the weeks to come.

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