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Three Books To Read if You Enjoy Bloodline

Rory O'Connor By Rory O'Connor Published on February 21, 2016

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If you haven’t watched Bloodline, I would highly suggest you get started. Quite honestly, what are you waiting for?! Netflix released season one of the show last year, with season two slated for release in 2016. It’s intense, suspenseful, mysterious, and beautifully shot in the Florida Keys. If that is not enough to convince you, it also stars Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights fame. The drama features the Rayburn family front and center. When the black sheep of the family (Danny) returns, things start to get a little sticky. While the family isn’t entirely squeaky clean, Danny’s foray into the drug world threatens to upend everything the family has worked to build. The Rayburn siblings discover they are willing to do whatever it takes to protect the family name. For those of you who have watched and loved, of course, the brilliant show, here are three novels that pair well, either thematically or geographically, with Bloodline. They may tide you over until the island drama returns.

Personally, I’d start with The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young. The story features New York writer Charlie Cates, who temporarily relocates to the Deep South following the death of her young son. Her plan is to chronicle the life of a wealthy, hotel owning family in a true crime book, as they too lost a young son. What she discovers is long buried secrets and desperate family members trying to protect their family legacy.

If you’d like something with a little more grit and a little less mystery, I’d highly recommend Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich. It’s the story of a family empire and the lengths they will go to protect it. Set in the Georgia mountains, Clayton Burroughs comes from a long line of criminals. To distance and remove himself from these activities, he pursues law enforcement and becomes the sheriff of a nearby town. When a federal agent comes to destroy the uneasy truce between brothers, his plan will test the bonds of family. Panowich has written a sweeping, multigenerational novel steeped with darkness, violence, and beautiful prose. A must read for fans of southern fiction. And Bloodline.

The last, and least obvious, recommendation is The Lake House by Kate Morton. Set in early twentieth century England, the wealthy Edevane family is living an idyllic life. One evening, during a party, the youngest and most beloved member of the family goes missing. He is never found. Fast forward to modern day, the story recounts the crumbling of the Edevane family’s estate and how it intertwines with the life of a young police detective who feels compelled to investigate their fate.

All three of these novels are marked by family tragedy, loss, and mystery. They explore the ties that bind us together and those that tear us apart. Whether they feature a hotel dynasty or a drug empire, the novels detail what we are willing to do for the sake of family. Bloodline, with the tagline “We’re not bad people, but we did a bad thing”, knows a thing or two about what is troubling these fictional families. The bottom line is, if you love Bloodline, you’ll love these novels. They are a fantastic way to pass the time until the Rayburn family returns. 

Science librarian, blogger, and nature lover. Survival is insufficient.

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