Blood Relations

Fiction - Mystery - Legal
386 Pages
Reviewed on 11/18/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Edward Cohen, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, was head writer and executive producer for Mississippi Educational Television. His documentaries there include Good Mornin' Blues with B.B. King, Passover and Hanukkah, narrated by Ed Asner, and The Islander, with James Best, all broadcast nationally by PBS.

The Peddler’s Grandson: Growing Up Jewish in Mississippi (University Press of Mississippi, 1999; Bantam Dell, 2002) received the state’s highest literary awards: the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award for Nonfiction, and the Author’s Award from the Mississippi Library Association. Cohen's memoir was twice selected to be featured on Book Sense, the top recommendations of independent booksellers nationwide.

Cohen moved to South America in 2009 and now resides in Vilcabamba, a noted backpacker’s stop in the Ecuadorian Andes. He lives on a mountain with his wife, Kathy, three dogs, and two pet burros, Josephine and Jasmine.

Kathy Cohen has shared in Edward’s writing career, editing his two previous books, and co-writing their screenplays Imminent Peril, optioned by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films, Blood Relations, and Reckless Pursuit. She is currently working on a memoir about leaving Los Angeles for an Andean pueblo, Livin’ Large in Vilcabamba.

New Orleans is one of their passions--for food and mood--Kathy having lived there as a child while her father attended Tulane Law School. Edward's father also attended Tulane, and Edward is a lawyer.

Initially a screenplay, Blood Relations was championed by Jerry Bruckheimer Films, and the Cohens spent five years transforming it into a novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

How far would you go to protect a beloved family member from the truth? When Kyle Cameron, protagonist of Blood Relations, discovers that his well-respected and prominent lawyer father, Jake, is having an affair with one of the beautiful female lawyers in the firm, he comes up with a radical plan to protect his fragile mother from learning the truth. But when that beautiful lawyer is found brutally murdered, and Jake is the primary suspect, Kyle now has the daunting task of defending a father who has little faith in his legal skills.

Blood Relations by Edward Cohen and Kathy Cohen offers a complex, but not unrealistic plot that grips readers from beginning to end, and just when readers think they know who actually killed the beautiful Laura ... surprise, surprise! But as engaging as the plot and trying to figure out who did the deed are the personalities of the key characters. Kyle is forever trying to meet his father’s expectations, to earn his respect, not to mention his love. There is ongoing competition between father and son, and what Kyle lacks in legal skills, he makes up for by bedding as many women as he can. So expect some scenes steamier and stickier than the New Orleans humidity.

Being a legally based story, there are some interesting insights into how the justice system works, along with how much is not as it seems, or should be. This is the world of the wealthy: money, power and reputations are always at stake and murderers aren’t the only criminals. If Blood Relations sounds like your kind of reading, don’t hesitate to pick up this novel: you won’t be able to put it down.

Jill Conner Browne

“BLOOD RELATIONS is brilliantly crafted all the way through—and the ending! NEVER saw it coming! Bring on the movie!”

Margaret Robbins

“Great read! You nailed the Southern dysfunctional family!”

Amazon reader

What a great convoluted southern family story! The rich criminal attorney father has an affair with a young, beautiful female attorney in the firm. His lawyer son decides to seduce the auburn-haired beauty for himself, then ends up defending his father in court when the woman is murdered. The characters in "Blood Relations" are marvelously and completely drawn creating a steamy thriller that you can't stop reading. The ending is a bombshell twist!

Amazon Customer

Youth, age, family stress all under pressure with intrigue and mystery woven throughout.

Steamy and hot just like New Orleans with many twists and turns because this murder mystery keeps the reader engaged and hunting for the real culprit throughout the developing story. Excellent read. I’ve known one of the authors a very long time and highly recommend their work.

Amazon Customer


Blood Relations is the best book I have read in a very long time. I was hooked from the first few pages and throughout this beautifully written book. The surprise ending was superb (Don’t dare read ahead). The characters were so well developed, I felt as if I truly knew them all. I could say so much more, but Suffice it to say, “Don’t miss this book!”
I see a movie in this book’s future!

Amazon Customer

There are few books that I enjoy reading from page 1 until the last page. On vacation and I could NOT put it down until I had read to the end. It was not predictable as many books are and that is what kept my interest. The book is well written, and I appreciated that there were no grammatical errors or page errors as in many ebooks. Great vacation read. The pace never slows in Blood Relations.

Amazon Customer

New Orleans noir. Fast paced and so many plot twists that one can’t believe the final one. This is a must read for mystery readers.


The good, the bad, and the ugly in New Orleans. A great read. The characters are compellingly portrayed, the plot twists and turns, the New Orleans food sounds delicious and the steamy love scenes match the setting. The exciting courtroom scenes are well-done.

Nancy A.

This book blew me away!

One of the best murder mysteries I've read in years. A cast of characters that will leave you speechless, and a culinary tour of new Orleans, to boot. If you are southern, or just a fan of southern decadence, this is a must-read.

Amazon Customer

New Orleans noir. Fast paced and so many plot twists that one can’t believe the final one. This is a must read for mystery readers.

Amazon Customer

I LOVED this book! It's rare I am kept guessing until the last word, so I was thrilled that this book kept me guessing until the very last sentence! Do not ruin this book by reading ahead...enjoy every single word until the fabulous ending!

Lynn B.

This is a terrific murder mystery set in NewOrleans. It’s a page turner and one that certainly kept me guessing all the way through. I was sorry to finish it and I hope that the Cohens come up with another soon.

Henry A.

Blood Relations was a great read from start to finish. The characters were well developed and the plot was interesting and made you not want to put this book down. It also kept you guessing and the end of the story was surprising and the perfect end to this book.

James R.

A behind the scenes peek at high profile criminal defense lawyers wrapped in a murder mystery with more twists and turns than a Louisiana back road. It is a real page turner. Two thumbs up


Super! Blood Relations is a great book! It has many twists and turns that keep you interested. Great characters and great setting -New Orleans!

Ellen T.

I love a good mystery and this one definitely offers all the elements necessary to keep the reader enthralled until the surprise ending. Definitely worth reading

Kate M.

Consumed me from the start! This book grabbed me and didn't let go. The setting and characters are so beautifully rendered I needed to stay there and find out what happens as though on a mission. And the romance didn't insult my intelligence! Well done. When will the next book show up? C'mon!

Kate M.

Consumed me from the start! This book grabbed me and didn't let go. The setting and characters are so beautifully rendered I needed to stay there and find out what happens as though on a mission. And the romance didn't insult my intelligence! Well done. When will the next book show up? C'mon!

Amazon client

Reading scripts was a big part of my job in the film industry. I came to dread reading those from people who had become good friends of mine. Most of them were, well, not very good or marketable. Reading Blood Relations turned out to be a joy. The authors have crafted the rare intelligent and intricate thriller complete with masterful turns of phrase and sly humor and characters that breathe in your ear as you follow the dark pathways they tread. Over the past year I have read at least one hundred mystery thrillers some from contemporary masters of the trade but most from new authors throwing their lines in the water to see what happens next. This novel is as good as it gets. If you have a thriller loving friend consider this a most satisfying and enjoyable Christmas gift.

Sarah S.

The plot twists and turns are totally amazing in Blood Relations, and so is the writing. This book will have you wondering 'til the end; and you'll never guess the end. The book may make you blush, too; but these characters weren't raised to behave.

Nancy K.

Thoroughly engrossing from start to finish. A portrait of a southern family from New Orleans and their somewhat, shall we say, curious relationships. The characters are richly drawn, the plot full of unexpected twists and turns and the language simply beautiful. Murder, sex, betrayal and, yes, love, are themes interwoven gracefully throughout this novel. The ending is a complete surprise.... a delightful read.

JC Patterson

JC Patterson
The Mississippi Clarion-Ledger

Edward and Kathy Cohen’s “Blood Relations” is a love letter to New Orleans disguised as a legal thriller. Any fan of the Crescent City will enjoy the mentioning of so many notable restaurants and familiar hangouts entwined around a stellar whodunnit.

The Cohens begin “Blood Relations” with a murder. Young attorney and local lothario Kyle Cameron stands near the victim’s bed. Laura Niles, beautiful, seductive, the secret fantasy of every man in New Orleans, is now quite dead. Kyle wipes his prints off Laura’s surroundings and hightails it to his French Quarter apartment. The next day, the employees of Cameron and Munger law firm stop by to pick up Laura for their group retreat. Kyle feigns shock as the screams begin and the police arrive.

Part One of “Blood Relations” explores everything leading up to Laura’s murder. The Cohens’ protagonist, Kyle, is as anti-hero as it gets. Before failing the bar exam twice, Kyle has been through a looong list of ladies, breaking hearts at every turn. His on-again, off-again girlfriend Alison is getting tired of Kyle’s lies about working late.

Kyle is the only child of Jake and Nola. Father Jake, raised tough in the Irish Channel, has built one of the city’s finest law firms. There’s no love lost between Jake and his wayward son. Wife Nola has that Garden District glow, privileged yet dazed from vodka and pills.

After Jake gets an urgent call during Nola’s birthday bash at Commander’s Palace, Kyle follows him to a secret rendezvous with…you guessed it…the lovely Laura. Angry at his dad’s infidelity, Kyle decides to even the score by pursuing Laura himself.

Kyle’s patented pirate smile meets its match when he begins to fall for the femme fatale. Now it’s a competition to see which Cameron Laura chooses.

As Kyle’s relationship with girlfriend Alison turns to Mardi Gras debris, he’s put in the Louisiana Bar’s crosshairs with reports of impropriety. Former lover, now local TV anchor Charlie Dumaine, rakes Kyle over the coals nightly on the 10 PM Report. Plus Kyle’s out of his league with a pro bono case for a rich restaurant owner’s son. Add in Laura’s murder and the plot just got as thick as gumbo at Galatoire’s.

Jake comes clean about his affair with Laura, so naturally he’s the prime suspect. They’re even seeking the death penalty. In an unlikely twist, Kyle takes on the mantle as his father’s defense attorney.

Part Two unfolds with the sensational murder trial, all fingers pointing towards papa Cameron. Jake and Kyle form an uneasy truce with a stoic Nola sitting in the wings.

The pages flip like mad as the Cohens blend in a parade of twists and turns. Can Jake save his doomed father? And who really killed Laura Niles. The big reveal will shock you.

Many readers will recall Edward Cohen’s award-winning “The Peddler’s Grandson: Growing Up Jewish in Mississippi.” He and editor/author wife Kathy now reside in South America with three dogs and two pet burros.

“We chose New Orleans because we knew it well and loved it,” said Kathy Cohen. “And because its essence suited the twists of the story and its conflicted characters.”

Take a minivacation to The Big Easy, via Edward and Kathy Cohen. “Blood Relations” drops you off on St. Charles Avenue with diversions to stately homes, kinky dives, packed courtrooms and enough 4-star restaurants to keep you fed for a month. Please turn this novel into a movie!

Justin Easterday

Mississippi Library Association, Summer 2019 Newsletter

For readers that enjoy suspenseful novels that provide detailed settings and complex character rela- tionships, Blood Relations is a novel I recommend. The Cohens’ use their knowledge of New Orleans to provide readers with detailed images of various locations in the story. Readers can easily picture Kyle driving through the French Quarter to his apartment after his dinner with Alison or being at the table and witnessing Nola’s tense family birthday dinner at her favorite restaurant just off St. Charles Avenue. The first section of the novel spends time thoroughly developing each character.... Then the reader becomes involved with how those relationships change after Laura’s murder and Jake’s court trial. The authors, Edward Cohen, and Kathy Cohen, have written a suspenseful novel that readers will
enjoy as they are taken to New Orleans and into Jake’s court trial to see if he killed Laura.

Education & Human Sciences Librarian University of Southern Mississippi – Gulf Coast

Kirkus Reviews

"The authors make [Kyle] charmingly vulnerable and self-deprecating—an affable lead that readers will likely find themselves rooting for. When Kyle receives a major case from his father, for instance, he says: “ ‘Well, thanks.’ I wasn’t sure what I was thanking him for, my job or the case. I was equally undeserving of both.” However, the authors also make sure that Kyle’s mettle as an attorney shines through in the cases he handles—particularly when he has to defend his father. The novel offers well-drawn, larger-than-life secondary characters and clever, fast-paced dialogue, which makes for an engrossing read. A well-constructed mystery with a knockout surprise ending.

Lisa Brown-Gilbert
A twisted legal thriller which satisfies with as much grit as it does with intrigue, Blood Relations by co-authors Kathy Cohen and Edward Cohen keeps you rapt and wound tight till its shocking ending.

Absolutely worth the read, this legal thriller brings readers to the hot and steamy locale of New Orleans, where behind the closed doors of the selective Cameron and Munger law firm, things turn out to be just as hot and even steamier. And when young Kyle Cameron accidentally discovers his father’s infidelitous relationship with sexy femme fatale co-worker, lawyer Laura Niles, he aims to entice his father’s love interest away. However, things take a turn for the horrific when Laura Niles is found murdered and Jake –Kyle’s father–winds up in the center of a circumstantial whirlwind of evidence that could destroy his career, marriage and even his life. Facing jail or execution, Jake has no choice but to trust his ne’er-do-well son and lawyer, Kyle, trying the case that would make or break him.

Wholly a story that wields egos, money, wealth and the culture of New Orleans with apt storytelling and style, this narrative hosts an ensemble of complex characters that intrigue and draw ire, as well as scintillate – brimming full of personality with grittily imperfect characters whose tremendous egos have them crossing seemingly inviolable boundaries, unabashed by consequences. Especially engaging are the complex and prominent males, Jake and Kyle Cameron. Dysfunctional as father and son, both womanizing men are caught off balance by the draw of the unforgettable and exceedingly carnal Laura.

The authors Cohen tell an authentic story that treats readers to a vividly painted setting wrapped around an intense legal drama complete with plot twists and sexy interludes, leading to a read that makes both the blood and the senses boil. They tell an intelligent and intriguing story that immediately draws in the reader with its reveals of interludes of dark pasts, bad choices, family dysfunction, and legal drama, all buried deep in a web of deceit, murder and sex, the reveal of which keeps you rapt until the end. Additionally, I found the nod to the 1940s noir movie, Laura especially engrossing as it plays out within the psyche of Kyle, further enhancing this well- written story.

Altogether, Blood Relations makes for a juicy adult-themed murder mystery that is well worth the read. I enjoyed the twisted plot, swimming in intriguing twists, dysfunction, drama, and steamy sexuality. Ultimately, this is the type of book that should be considered a must-read for fans of legal thrillers.

Amazon Customer

"I read more than 100 novels a year and have for several years now. Blood Relations is the best I have ever read. It met or passed my ultimate criteria for excellent writing in all categories.

Soon after I finished reading Blood Relations, I reread the epilogue and all of Laura's italicized thoughts. It was a second rush.

I plan to read it again in several months. It's that good."

Amazon Customer

"Loved the book from the beginning and it just kept getting better and better. You think you have it figured out, but no. Fast paced with lots of twists and turns. I can't wait for their next book."

Tina Q, Amazon Customer

"I LOVED this book! It really held my attention till the very end. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery with an ever changing story line. I am on vacation and I read the book in three sittings. I could hardly lay it down."

Frank W., Amazon Customer

"The plot was suspenseful —the characters believable -and the ending masterful. I had a hard time putting the book down. The kinky New Orleans mores and lifestyle added spice to a fascinating story. Can’t wait for the next book."

Biba B. Amazon Customer

"One of the best thrillers I've read in a long time. The characters are so masterfully crafted that they became acquaintances and I'd think about them through the day! Immaculate plotting and twisted ending. Highly recommended."

Debra A., Amazon Customer

"A gripping read. I could not put it down or get anything done until I finished it. Surprises all the way, especially the end!"

Laura S., Amazon Customer

"Great characters, setting, mystery! I read it nonstop and gave it to my husband. He would stop and say “Ok I know who did it.”
And I would say, “You will never guess!”
Thanks, Edward and Kathy.