My name is David B. Roundsley, and “Bad Blood – A Life Without Consequence” is my memoir about the search for my birth parents and DNA origins. I am a musician (writing and recording as Munich Syndrome since the mid-80s), graphics and multimedia designer, and an adoptee. This book lays out and details the unexpected search for my DNA origins and brings to light the far-reaching consequences of poor judgments and bad decisions.
The story reads on many levels: true crime, adventure, mystery, and, in some respects, a how-to for anyone sincerely interested in discovering the truth about their DNA origins and past. Covering many decades and many lives, the book is a documentation of my search and the many affected families.
What I thought would be a simple quest to find out the who, what, where, and when of my birth parents quickly pulled me down a surreal rabbit hole of mystery, intrigue, secrets, and lies. Expecting to discover 2 people that didn’t want to have children and had moved on with their lives (either with or without each other), I was confronted with drug use, criminal behavior, multiple sex partners and swinging, mob affiliations, attempted murder and even a potential link to the unsolved Zodiac killings in California.
It is both a how-to and a cautionary tale for adoptees who want to discover their origins, for people who have (or will) put a child up for adoption, and also for families who are considering adoption. For many people, once the adoption is signed off on, the story ends. Or so they hope. But more often than not, there’s much more to the stories, and the ramifications can last for decades and generations.
A seemingly unique narrative, this type of story will become more commonplace in our new world of DNA testing, data aggregation, and social media. The pros and cons of undertaking such a search are highlighted in this story.
Over the course of 13 years, I became adept at using the resources at hand and developed my detection skills as I sifted through massive quantities of information. During the course of this journey, what I found also brought into focus the family dynamics of being an adoptee and identity. I also share my experiences with my fights and struggles with the legal systems in California and Michigan to obtain original birth certificates.
Available now from Amazon.com:
Book Review: Bad Blood: A Life Without Consequence
December 18, 2020
TITLE: Bad Blood: A Life Without Consequence
AUTHOR: David B. Roundsley
328 pages, DBR Design, ISBN 9781735377902 (hardcover)
DESCRIPTION: (from Goodreads) “Bad Blood: A Life without Consequence” chronicles one adoptee’s search and journey to discover his birth parents and his roots in the new world of DNA testing, data aggregation, and social media. What began with a simple inquiry to hopefully find his biological roots led one adoptee down a rabbit hole of intrigue, secrets, dark deeds, infidelity, and organized crime.
Tracing his birth parents’ origins from Detroit, Michigan, and on to their subsequent movements to Southern California, northward to Montana, and then on to Washington, and later to Oregon, he uncovered secrets and exposed many of the lies they told along the way. The trail of abuse and damage led to a man who lived a life without consequence.
A search begun in the early 90’s was abandoned but was revived when he caught a TV show on adoption by chance and submitted the information he had to a “Search Angel”. This led to the discovery of his birth parents, several half-siblings, infidelities, organized crime, drug use, abuse, and attempted murder.
Both a how-to and a cautionary tale of navigating the world of complex social media hurdles, sifting through massive quantities of data, and dealing with an often unhelpful and obstructive legal system.
MY RATING: 5 stars out of 5.
MY THOUGHTS: This is an absolutely engrossing memoir about adoption, secrets, and the search to understand where we came from and who we are. I found it extremely hard to put down. That’s partially because of the way the book is structured. The reader only becomes privy to information as Roundsley’s original search uncovered it. There are a few hints at the start of the book of what will ultimately be revealed (most but not all of which is noted in the book’s back cover matter) but for the most part we the audience must endure the same staggers and stutters the author did. Long fallow periods are interspersed surges of new leads some of which go nowhere and some of which open new roads of inquiry. This heightens the immediacy of the book and kept me more interested than maybe a straight chronological history of the author’s birth parents would have.
It doesn’t take long for Roundsley (and the reader) to realize his adoption was an unusual one. Or perhaps not so unusual given the time period as it was something “nice” people just didn’t consider a reality: that behind-closed-doors baby-trafficking happened even among “polite” society. As author learns more about his late birth mother’s life and gets closer to meeting his birth father, the stakes start to feel exceedingly high indeed. There are some very, very dark moments in the birth parents’ past, and some of them are uneasy to read about.
But the story is not all crime, drug use, physical abuse, and attempted murder – Roundsley discovers several half-siblings and meets their families. Their parts in the story are equally, if not more, tragic – but the larger family and obvious love these half-siblings develop for each other are a happy ending to such a dark background. Roundsley sprinkles their stories in with his search, even letting one sister take over for a section to reveal her own almost Dickensian history. I do feel as though I intimately know all of the parties involved thanks to Roundsley’s very personal, intimate, and familiar writing style and the way he’s willing to cede the stage to his siblings when the narrative warrants.
Along the way, the author also reveals a bit about his adoptive family and touches on the struggles of being a creative and obviously gay boy in a family that clearly doesn’t accept it. While the adoptive parents and sibling don’t have nearly the tragic life Roundsley’s birth parents did, they still play several key roles in the way the story unfolds. I have to say I’d love to see a second memoir from Roundsley about his later childhood and eventual coming out; I suspect there’s a lot more to that part of his life than he was able to include in this book. He’s also had quite a career in the music industry: he writes and records music as Munich Syndrome, and there is a companion CD to the book. I know there are a lot of compelling stories he could weave together with his coming out to form a second memoir.
Bad Blood: A Life Without Consequence is available for Order in Kindle form on Amazon if you missed the Kickstarter for the project.
Also available: Bad Blood, the album by Munich Syndrome.
The 16-track album of dreamy electronica mixed with acoustic instruments is cinematic, atmospheric, dreamy, mysterious, and an aural companion to the book Bad Blood: A Life Without Consequence.
- 1- Bad Blood (Intro)
- 2-Out of the Blue *
- 3-Android Dreams (New Vox) ✯
- 4-Fragment (of a dream) (quiet) (Dreamstate mix) ❢
- 5-Secrets and Lies
- 7-Watching You (Surveillance Mix) ✠
- 8-Forever Walking
- 9-Bad Blood (the Ballad of a Bad Man)
- 10-Lonely Highway (Acoustica) ✶
- 11-Between Nothingness and Eternity (Dreamstate mix) ✢
- 12-Journey of a Lifetime (Electro Pop 2 Radio edit) ✪
- 13-The Only Path (Electro Pop 2 Full Album version) ✪
- 14- Bad Blood (Outro)
- 15- Suburbia (Acoustic)✧
All songs written, performed and produced by David B. Roundsley (except * written by Alan Parsons, Ian Bairnson, Stuart Elliott)
- ✯ Original Version from Robotika VIP & Robotika Expanded editions
- ❢ Original Version from Sensual Ambience
- ✠ Original Version from Electronic Ecstasy
- ✶ Original Version from GRAY/SCALE
- ✢ Original Version from Electro Pop
- ✪ From Electro Pop 2 – Deluxe Edition
- ✧ Original Version from Electro Pop 2 – Deluxe Edition
Available now from:
And all major digital outlets. Get your copy today!!