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Blood of Angels: A Novel Hardcover – June 28, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (June 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060596341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060596347
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,673,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Thomas Dennehy, assistant DA of Davidson County, Tenn., is about to become famous. Unless he can figure a way out of it, he'll be certified as the first lawyer in the country to have sent the wrong man to the death chamber. As if that isn't enough, he must also prosecute a charismatic member of the local Sudanese community, Moses Bol, accused of killing a prostitute, in a trial that threatens to engulf Nashville in a full-scale race riot. Dennehy is tough, in court and out, and has plenty of interesting personal problems—primarily an ex-wife for whom he has conflicting feelings and an 11-year-old daughter he adores. He's a highly sympathetic figure, as are Arvin's other characters—except the bad guy who's harboring a deadly grudge and a diabolical plan that confounds both Dennehy and the police. While trying to sort through his problems, Dennehy falls for an unlikely lady, Fiona Towns, a local minister and Moses Bol's alibi. Perhaps this material isn't quite as original as Arvin's debut, The Last Goodbye, but the author is among the top handful of legal thriller writers working today, and this is another winner that thriller, mystery and general fiction readers alike will relish.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Nashville prosecutor Tom Dennehy is legendary for convicting two unrelated men of the same crime. Wilson Owens just received a lethal injection for a convenience-store murder. David Bridges was an EMT called to the scene of the crime, who--under the influence of drugs--botched a procedure that may have saved Owens' victim. Bridges got seven years for negligent homicide. Now, as Dennehy builds a murder case against a Sudanese refugee, the Owens case resurfaces when a lifer in the pen claims to have committed the shooting for which Owens was executed. Meanwhile, Dennehy's best friend and coworker is murdered in a manner similar to the recent killing of a parole officer, one of whose clients was none other than the recently released EMT, David Bridges, who has subsequently vanished. Coincidence, or is someone after Dennehy? Complicating matters further, Dennehy has become romantically involved with a female minister who is a personal advocate for the young Sudanese man charged with murder. Dennehy has always stood arrogantly on the higher moral ground, but now he is being force-fed a huge piece of bloody humble pie. This nail-biter is Arvin's third thriller--following The Will (2000) and The Last Goodbye (2004)--and each has been better than the last. He matches sinister plots with flawed protagonists to create melancholy, suspenseful, epiphany-filled, and pain-drenched noir novels. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
Great suspense, character developement and plot.
The characters in this novel are very well drawn and Dennehy's relationship and interaction with them gives the novel a very personal touch.
C. Baker
A sure bet for a great Hollywood movie--Reed Arvin's novels just get better and better.
S. C. Dawson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Larson on June 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Blood of Angels was the first Reed Arvin book that I have read, and it is not going to be the last. Blood of Angels delivers on all levels and introduces a cast of characters that is very interesting.

While you are reading from the perspective of a lawyer, this is not a court room legal thriller, this is a book about revenge pure and simple. There are multiple sub-plots and action that keep the story moving along, and you will not want to put this one down.

Reed Arvin writes in the first person, which I thought would be a distraction, but I really enjoyed the smooth style. I would recommend this book to all who are looking for an interesting plot, and a fast moving book that will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
With "Blood of Angels," Reed Arvin joins the ranks of James Lee Burke and Scott Turow. He takes the legal thriller and ratchets it into a pure suspense novel, full of believable characters and nail-biting situations.

The setting is modern-day Nashville. Arvin reveals this southern city in a realistic light, never condescending, never kissing up. Music City has become a true melting pot of nationalities, and we see this clearly through the story of a Sudanese man accused of murder. Racial tensions build, deceits grow numerous, and pressing legal questions rise to the surface. Soon the characters are enmeshed in a deadly game that will push them to their limits.

The magic of the book is the protagonist. Tom Dennehy is intelligent, successful, and admired. But he's also wounded. His divorce still wears on him, and his anger tends to boil to the surface at inappropriate moments. As his career and loved ones face threats, he lets himself get involved with a female minister. Even as the story closes, his soul and his integrity are sitting in the scales.

Arvin is a wonderful writer. His themes are serious and hardhitting, his dialogue is coarse while his prose is picturesque, and the plot is a thing of beauty. "Blood of Angels" proves we have a master novelist rising through the ranks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tucker Andersen VINE VOICE on August 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the third book by REED ARVIN which I have read, and the third which I have rated five stars. The author is an excellent storyteller; what I feel differentiates his books from the standard thrillers are the complexity of the plots and the extensive character development of the key participants in his stories. His previous two books (I have not read his first) also raise significant philosophical issues as well.

BLOOD OF ANGELS has a much more straightforward storyline than his two other books which I have read, and in my opinion is marginally less enjoyable. But the themes are so different that I suspect many readers may not share my opinion. In fact, readers who enjoy a more linear story and also speedreaders for whom nuances are less important may actually find this book the most enjoyable of the three. Another differentiating factor in this book is the importance of the locale in which the story is set and Arvin's choice of the town where he lives, Nashville, TN. The details utilized in the construction of this story, including the regional political climate, the local neighborhoods (especially the juxtaposition of the Nations and Tennessee Village), the nature of the sanctuary of The Downtown Presbyterian Church, and the central role of the "lost boys of the Sudan" all lend an aura of reality to it. The author has such detailed knowledge of the area that he has created what I call "reality based fiction"; the real people and places which comprise the background of the story lend it sufficient authenticity so that the reader feels much of it is not beyond the realm of possibility despite the fact is not based on an actual series of events.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on April 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a former resident of Nashville and currently living in the city of Franklin (the hero's city) I was expecting to be somewhat familiar with the sites and locations. What I was not expecting was the absolutely riveting story - a police procedural of the first degree. I now know how residents of New York, DC, LA & Chicago feel when they read stories that take place in their city. The areas described are well-known and provide a reference point for the story.

This is the New South. Absent are evangelicals, the dominant Democrat party, close-knit generational families and a whites only landscape. Instead, Thomas Dehenny, the district attorney, is a driven, dedicated hard-drinking, divorced father who never attends church. One detects that the author (through Thomas) decries those who devote their lives to defending murderers and rapists. He asks, What about the victims? Who speaks for them?

In this case, there is a strong possiblity that the wrong man was executed. The crime involved two defendents - the shooter & the medic who actually killed the woman through negligance (he was on meth). At the same time, the city is rocked by the brutal murder of a Nationite woman by an African refugee. The struggle between low-class whites (The Nation) & the growing numbers of refugees and immigrants is real & depicted with accuracy. Into the fray steps Fiona Towns, local Presbyterian minister/activist. Despite their positions, a romance breaks out between the two. The real villain is revealed midway through the book & he is as horrible and clever as they come. The ending was sheer perfection as was the entire story. I cannot say enough about this book! Buy it.
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