Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com
It's very rare, at least in my own reading experience, to find a debut novel that is, in essence, perfect. By perfect I mean a balanced blend of mystery and suspense, outstanding plot, great character development, and memorable dialogue. DESERT BLOOD 10PM/9C, however, manages to do all of this and more!
Nicholas Hernandez, cop star of the top-rated television show Desert Blood, is more than just a pretty face on a billboard. The previous year, at the age of twenty-six, Nick ignored the advice of his manager and the leers of his fans and did something no one else would dare to do--he hired a lawyer, appealed to three separate judges, and adopted Gus Gonzalez. Then twelve years old, Gus became an overnight sensation, the adopted son of one of television's hottest stars.
At fourteen, Gus now finds himself at the center of a tabloid frenzy that never seems to let up. If he's not being abducted by aliens, then there obviously has to be something unseemly and untoward in his relationship with his famous father. Even though Nick is the kind of dad any son would love to have--he's loving, understanding, strict but fair--the media is determined to make the relationship between the two of them something it most definitely is not. As if the tabloid rumor mills aren't enough, Gus also has to take the ridicule of kids at school, who are either jealous that they're not starring in Desert Blood, or just downright vicious in taunting Gus about his "Michael Jackson-esque" father-son relationship.
Although he has his father's love, and the ear of his best friend, Lalo (one of the funniest characters of the book), Gus still fears deep down that something will happen to leave him without his new dad. But then the speculations of the press seem like just a bad dream when a guy with a knife breaks into their home, and Gus finds out that Nick has been receiving menacing letters--letters that threaten to harm Gus, and ones that Nick never told his son about.
Soon danger seems to be lurking around every corner--more letters, real disappearances--and it's up to Nick the father, not Nick the cop Gabriel on a television show--to find out who is threatening his family and their lives.
DESERT BLOOD 10PM/9C is the perfect read for lovers of a good mystery and suspense story, and for everyone who has ever wondered what really goes on in the lives of celebrities. Kudos to Mr. Cree for such a cheer-worthy debut novel!