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One Drop of Blood | [Thomas Holland]

One Drop of Blood

As the director of the U.S. Army's Central Identification Lab in Hawaii (CILHI), Robert Dean "Kel" McKelvey has made a career solving some of the country's most complex identification cases. Though fast approaching emotional meltdown, Kel now faces his thorniest case yet: the recovery of Jimmie Carl Trimble, a soldier from Arkansas who died a hero's death in Vietnam 40 years ago.
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Publisher's Summary

As the director of the U.S. Army's Central Identification Lab in Hawaii (CILHI), Robert Dean "Kel" McKelvey has made a career solving some of the country's most complex identification cases. Though fast approaching emotional meltdown, Kel now faces his thorniest case yet: the recovery of Jimmie Carl Trimble, a soldier from Arkansas who died a hero's death in Vietnam 40 years ago.

When a rare DNA sequence turns up at both the Army and FBI labs, it points to the unthinkable: a link between Trimble and a 40-year-old, unsolved racial killing in the Arkansas delta. Partnered uneasily with the volatile FBI Special Agent Michael Levine, Kel must peel back decades of silence to reveal a complex web of stolen identity, betrayal, patriotism, collusion, and lies.

Taking listeners deep inside the fascinating world of military and civilian forensic science, One Drop of Blood is a pitch-perfect thriller by a talented new author who knows the terrain better than anyone.

One of the most respected forensic anthropologists in the world, author Thomas Holland is the real Scientific Director of the U.S. Army's Central Identification Lab in Hawaii (CILHI), the agency responsible for the recovery and identification of all U.S. war dead.

©2006 Thomas Holland; (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Forensic investigators don't get more real than Thomas Holland." One Drop of Blood is the first thriller in an exciting new series that looks at cold cases with lightning heat and speed....Fascinating. (Linda Fairstein)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (67 )
5 star
 (11)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (11 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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Story
4.0 (11 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Barbara Marietta, GA, United States 03-01-07
    Barbara Marietta, GA, United States 03-01-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    397
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    64
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    5
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    Overall
    "Pretty good for what it was..."

    Here in Atlanta we definitely say y'all (never spelled "ya'll") for a single person. Plural is more likely "all y'all". Anyway, I had no problem with the author's dialectical peccadilloes, but the reader definitely took a heap o' getting used to.

    Once I resigned myself to the narrator's thin voice and occasional pronuncial missteps, his absurd attempts at feminine voices and over-the-top characterizations, I was actually able to enjoy much of the story. I found a lot of unexpected humor buried in the dialogue, and the delicate and specific science of DNA analysis was articulated very well. The book probably deserves another star *for the genre* but its overall appeal is limited, and it is not for the impatient listener.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat La Mesa, CA, United States 07-09-08
    Pat La Mesa, CA, United States 07-09-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
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    330
    50
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    4
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    Overall
    "Adult Men Bickering"

    The plot for this book is very good. However, the two heroes' constant bickering, threatening and posturing got old fast. By the end of the book, I would not have regretted the two of them being eliminated by the "bad" guys. The reader's gravelly voice was a bit annoying, as was the on-again off-again Southern accent.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marian 06-28-06
    Marian 06-28-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    112
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    37
    23
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    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Even though I sort of figured out the ending early on in this book, that did not detract from my enjoyment in listening to it. The characters are well developed, the plot has lots of convolutions and the author clearly knows forensic science. All in all, a great first novel. I look forward to his next, hopefully also starring McKelvey and Levine.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret El Cerrito, CA, USA 08-14-06
    Margaret El Cerrito, CA, USA 08-14-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    97
    7
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    "Great story, even better narrator"

    This story really pulled me in, and kept me there. I had a hard time putting it aside. The two main characters are a team that I hope find their way together again. The narrator brings them to life, as he does all the various characters that inhabit this novel. I saw the ending coming down the road a bit, but there were still enough surprises to keep me hanging on. Time very well spent.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheryl Baumgart 07-15-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    41
    7
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    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    Not a bad story but not great. From the beginning I waited for the author to tie the plot into an understandable package. In the end he figured the same thing I did from the first chapter. Why would anyone care after 40+ years. I kept listening hoping for a twist which would make me understand why the whole thing was even being pursued and was very disappointed to find that even the author couldn't come up with a plausible answer for caring.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-24-06
    06-24-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
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    269
    5
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    "I hated to see this book end!"

    Thomas Holland Rocks!!

    This book pulls you in immediately. The people in this book are a pleasure to get to know. I hope Thomas Holland does not take a big vacation now because he should be sent to his room to KEEP ON WRITING!!
    If his sense of humor in life is as cool as his sense of humor in writing - He is the life of the party.
    I listen to MANY audio books and this one I move to the top of the list. Thank you for the mental stimulation & the belly laughs. My husband kept asking me what I was listening to on my ipod because all he could hear was me sometimes gasping & most of the time laughing as I listened to this story as I worked around the house. Can't wait for the next release!!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melisa 09-18-06
    Melisa 09-18-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    146
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    33
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    Overall
    "I tried to like it, I really did."

    This book has the most unlikeable main character I've ever encountered. In fact, there really isn't a single likeable character in the whole book, but the main character is, by far, the worst. The story itself might have been good, if I could have forced myself to care. The author tries to redeem the character with one decent act (nothing very extreme, either) in the very end of the book, but it was too little too late. He also would have benefitted from a little research into the area he used for his setting. The so called "southern" dialect was pretty laughable. Just for the record, ya'll is plural. We don't refer to one person as ya'll, as the characters in this book do incessantly. We also don't use the word in every sentence we utter. All the characters were textbook stereotypes, from the shifty old sheriff with something to hide, the dangerous deputy who doesn't like outsiders, the gum-chomping waitress, to the unfriendly New Yorker.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth 07-04-13
    Kenneth 07-04-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Tedious"

    I purchased this book after listening to "K.I.A." by the same author, which was terrific. However, "One Drop of Blood" has almost no plot line, although there are a few interesting science lessons about forensic anthropology, and has a "surprise" ending that is predictable about halfway through the novel. What bothered me most however was the nearly constant bickering between the two main characters, made worse by the reader's tendency to make them sound like characters out of South Park. This is apparently Holland's first published novel, and it's surprising to see how much his writing improved with the later (and much better narrated) "K.I.A."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry F. Stinson The Dalles, OR 07-29-06
    Barry F. Stinson The Dalles, OR 07-29-06 Member Since 2003

    masterfundi

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great first novel."

    Thoroughly enjoyable, with the exception of the reader's multiple mispronunciations of Tan Son Nuht, which nearly drove me to distraction. I hope Mr Holland continues the adventures of Kel, and that the subsequent novels also be offered unabridged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Plymouth, MN, USA 09-21-07
    Lynn Plymouth, MN, USA 09-21-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    147
    17
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    0
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    Overall
    "Kept me engaged"

    I definitely enjoyed this novel. I love foresnsic mysteries and this did not disappoint! I thought I had it figured out until nearly the end - nicely woven plot, interesting characters and decent narration.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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