Blood Ties

Fiction - Realistic
148 Pages
Reviewed on 05/02/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I enjoy talking to my children, holidays, hill-walking and riding my bike. I've worked on adventure playgrounds, as a teacher, as an antique dealer and in a social security office in Newcastle. Before that I spent a year on a Gandhian Ashram in Vijayawada, supporting myself as assistant editor on a local English-language newspaper.
In my day job I’m an academic but I believe that you can only truly understand the issues that matter to people through your feelings, your imagination and your compassion. That's why I write novels.
My first novel, The Baby Auction, 2017, is a love story set in a fantasy world where the only rule is the law of the market. That someone should help another because they care for them simply doesn’t make sense to the citizens of Market World, any more that auctioning babies might to us. My second, Ardent Justice, 2018, is a crime story set in the world of high finance and city fat-cats, where money rules, but greed can trip even the most successful. My third, Blood Ties, 2020, is about the ties of love in a troubled family, and the bonds of debt that chain illegal immigrants to people-traffickers, and how they can be broken through self-sacrifice. I hope you enjoy them.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite

A man must make an agonizing decision between love for his family or selling his integrity to keep his innocent daughter out of prison in the breathtakingly realistic novel, Blood Ties by Peter Taylor-Gooby. Ritchie Morlan leaves his career as an adman over the agency's sudden decline in morals. With more free time on his hands, he decides to reconnect with his grown children, Jack and Nic. Both anti-slavery activists like their deceased mother, Jack and Nic don't take his work seriously or believe that Ritchie would even understand what they do. On the contrary, Ritchie is proud of their efforts and how far they've come. Now he wants to join them as an adman, promoting their cause. Only, no matter how hard he tries, he keeps messing everything up. When his daughter Nic gets in over her head with a slave-trafficker, Ritchie is drawn into a scheme to make modern slavery legal in the U.K. In a desperate attempt to save his daughter's life and liberty, Ritchie makes a deal with a slimy politician; his daughter's life for a campaign to end all other campaigns. With little choice, Ritchie agrees. Now he has a plan to tip the balance. Will he finally succeed in helping his children in their fight? Or will he only succeed in losing his family?

Blood Ties by Peter Taylor-Gooby is a hair-raising look into a hopefully alternate, if not near future. The theme centers around modern slavery with ties to immigration and homelessness. Job equality, workers' rights, and a lackadaisical generation that doesn't feel a compulsion to work meld together to create an enticing undercurrent to an already exciting plot. As the story unfolds, it becomes frightening clear just how simple it would be to create the world Peter Taylor-Gooby so vividly describes. Humorous and heartbreaking, this novel is a must-read for the Millennial generation and anyone who enjoys a good British crime story.

Lesley Jones

In Blood Ties by Peter Taylor-Gooby, Richie Morlan is facing a huge crossroads in his career as an advertising creative. He must advocate the practice of modern-day slavery and support the impending anti-immigrant bill, or stand by his beliefs. Richie realizes that he cannot remain silent and, together with his two children, they embark on a dangerous social justice journey that will bring them face to face with the traffickers. As Richie and his children battle the impending anti-immigration bill, they discover the harsh implications and reality of slavery in modern-day Britain. As the people of the UK are divided in their view on immigration, Richie and his children must find a way to bring the traffickers to justice. But when his daughter is kidnapped by one of the traffickers and the Prime Minister is determined to deport all illegal immigrants, Richie discovers he is stronger than he ever thought possible.

The subject matter of this novel will inspire anyone to find the courage to follow their instincts and fight for what they believe in. A true David and Goliath tale where three members of a family bring their own unique talents and take on the establishment. The characters are well developed and believable. I loved how Richie's character developed and the relationship with his children was beautifully executed. I also thought the manner in which Richie and his children fought back against bureaucracy was very clever. Blood Ties by Peter Taylor-Gooby draws your attention to the social injustices in the world brilliantly and the chasm between the wealthy and the forgotten population extremely well. Modern-day slavery and people trafficking is a subject that falls under many people's radars. The shocking reality of this crime is highlighted with graphic realism and authenticity.

Lisa McCombs

Ritchie Morlan, chief creative at Dance and Fitzhugh Advertising Agency, believed himself essential in the world of advertising until he no longer felt that way. In one day’s time, he arrived at work to immediately resign. The job had served its purpose of financially providing for his family and later occupying the pain in his heart. Jobless and deep in grief over the death of his beloved Cat, Ritchie knows it’s time to step up in the father department. Touched but independent in their quest to demolish human trafficking in Europe, his adult children Nic and Jack aren’t confident in their father’s newfound interest. With the help of her enthusiastic brother Jack and his equally supportive boyfriend, Nic finds herself at the mercy of her estranged father in waging war on a corrupt government.

Blood Ties by Peter Taylor-Gooby is a political/espionage drama chockfull of suspense. Peter Taylor-Gooby captures his reader’s attention with colorful imagery and alluring figurative language: e.g. “the air smells clammy, as if it’s been breathed too many times before.” Blood Ties is almost a story within a story as Ritchie Morlan narrates this thrilling diversion of Nic and Jack. As Morlan continuously takes the fall for his daughter’s actions, we see the origin of the novel’s title. Blood Ties proves to be an English crime story in the ranks of American author James Patterson. Lovers of fast-paced intrigue will surely identify with the complicated plot twists in this page-turner. A classic novel good for a slow rainy night.

K.C. Finn

Blood Ties is a work of fiction in the realistic fiction and interpersonal drama sub-genres and was penned by author Peter Taylor-Gooby. Suitable for most readers, with only a few scenes of moderate violence, the book tells the tale of a successful advertising executive who gets blackmailed into being the architect of a campaign to rebrand modern slavery as something acceptable to the world. This pits him directly against his children, who are activists working to end people-trafficking around the globe. The plot follows the journey of the executive as he is forced to confront class divides in modern Britain and comes to question how much he must sacrifice in order to reunite his family.

Author Peter Taylor-Gooby has encompassed personal, emotional, political, and sociocultural themes in a story that really gets to the root of family life and the fundamental differences that we may find within our own blood ties. In a highly accomplished tale from every angle, I found Ritchie to be an endearing central character despite his faults, which is due to the close narration and intelligent insight that Taylor-Gooby treats him with on every page. This attention to detail in character development extends to the family as a whole, which grounds the work in such realism that the political idea of modern slavery becomes a terrifyingly real notion as well. What results is a compelling narrative on several levels which also offers poignant food for thought about British society long after the reading experience has ended. Overall, I would definitely recommend Blood Ties as a highly accomplished book.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Blood Ties by Peter Taylor-Gooby is a story about fragile family ties like the one that binds Ritchie Morlan to his children Nic and Jack. A successful advertising executive, Ritchie lost his wife in a car accident more than two decades ago in a traumatic circumstance. And now he is in danger of emotionally losing his children too, as both strongly despise an ad campaign he made that makes modern slavery acceptable. Active in a campaign to welcome asylum-seekers to Britain, Nic and Jack are passionately affected by their father's ad campaign and the event opened old wounds.

Peter Taylor-Gooby's Blood Ties is a story of betrayal and compassion. The story unravels as Ritchie faces one of the biggest decisions in his professional life. Fast-paced and dialogue-driven, the conflict is revealed and the plot thickens. Peter Taylor-Gooby deftly maneuvers the theme of his story through a series of vivid twists and turns that will enthrall his readers. It is a gripping experience. Impulsive and determined, Nic's character, warts and all, is perfectly defined. Here is one personality that is not necessarily likable but still one can easily empathize with her. There are two opposing views presented in Blood Ties through dialogues that may seem so familiar to many of us in conflict at one time or another with members of our own family. And as Ritchie, Nic and Jack struggle with the pain of their past and present, it behooves us to examine our own personal demons.