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Blood Diamonds (Ben Kamal and Danielle Barnea Novels) Hardcover – April 20, 2002

Book 5 of 7 in the Ben Kamal Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Ben Kamal and Danielle Barnea Novels (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (April 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765302268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765302267
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,645,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Land packs a load of information and action into his fifth thriller (after 2001's Keepers of the Gate), in which Palestinian-American detective Ben Kamal and his unlikely partner and lover, Israeli detective Danielle Barnea, battle a female Sierra Leone rebel leader with global designs. On the plus side are Kamal and Barnea, both touching and accessible characters with enough backstory to make them interesting, but not too much to overexplain them (although in Kamal's case it becomes a near thing, especially in flashback scenes from his father's life). There are also some sharp political insights into how prospects in the Middle East have deteriorated since the series began; as Kamal's friend and mentor Colonel al-Asi grimly recalls, "The cooperative ventures you and Barnea worked on were symbols of peace when it still seemed possible." The action scenes are as plentiful and professionally rendered as ever, ranging this time from Israel's West Bank and a doomed Russian town to a bloody Sierra Leone landscape where the rebel leader (known as the Dragon) trades her country's uncut diamonds for weapons of supreme terror. But Land interrupts the flow of his narrative by constantly cutting from one set of players to another each cut is soon predictable by its length and by the cliff-hanging clich‚s that end most chapters. There's also an impossible-to-kill villain, whose near-magic reappearances will irk readers. Established fans will probably overlook the flaws, but newcomers might wonder what the previous fuss was all about.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The fifth Ben Kamal-Danielle Barnea novel begins with the partnership between the Palestinian and Israeli detectives in disarray. Danielle is in jail, accused of murdering a superior officer. Can Ben help her clear her name? And can Kamal and Barnea defeat an evil warlord before she destroys the governments of the Western world? As usual, the story's plot is somewhat James Bondish--the villain, who calls herself the Dragon, plans to finance her evil plans with "blood diamonds," unfinished stones smuggled into Israel from Africa--but the author never lets it go too far over the top. Similarly, the narrative gets a bit cartoony ("The Dragon gnashed her teeth and waited"), but Land always pulls it back from the brink of disaster. Kamal and Barnea, the Palestinian cop and the Israeli pakad (chief inspector), make a good team, and the author peppers the novel with insights into Middle Eastern culture. Despite its flaws, this is a solid entry in a series that consistently uses setting as an integral part of the story. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
Indelible characters are also at the core of the story.
Neal Reynolds
The pair learns that African diamonds are exchanged for weapons using corrupt Israeli officers as well as Palestinians and the Internet.
Harriet Klausner
This book once again has as it's heroes Ben Kamal and Danielle Barnea.
Melvin Hunt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Kern VINE VOICE on April 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
International thrillers do not get any better than this.
The main plot of this suspenseful novel involves the rebel leader of a group known as the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). They call her the Dragon. This group is trying to overrun the Sierra Leone government. The Dragon's subsequent plan is then to destroy the USA with a secret weapon known as the Black Death (not the Black Death you're familiar with either). Ben Kamal and Danielle Barnea, in a most unusual way, get back together in an effort to stop the Dragon and her secret weapon. Of course this is just one of their problems. Old enemies also return.
The story also has numerous subplots that each come together to make this one of the most satisfying thrillers I've read in some time. From the civil war in Sierra Leone to the secret weapons factory in Russia, this novel carries you non-stop from beginning to end. The timely subject of the Middle East also plays a prominent role.
Quote: You do this out of hate for the enemy, not love of the people.
Highly recommended!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It is over a year since the events in New York and it appears that the relationship between detectives Palestinian-American Ben Kamal and Israeli Danielle Barnea is at an end. He is returning to America while she tries to reconcile with the National Police. On an undercover assignment for her old boss, a trap is sprung and Danielle is arrested supposedly for killing her immediate supervisor.

When Ben hears about this, he helps her escape from jail. The pair learns that African diamonds are exchanged for weapons using corrupt Israeli officers as well as Palestinians and the Internet. The United Revolutionary Front in Sierra Leone led by the fanatical Latisse Matabu is determined to unleash weapons of mass destruction on their own people and the United States unless the Palestinian and the Israeli can work together to stop her.

Jon Land authors a timely and believable political thriller that reflects the complexities of the global social and military infrastructure. His characters reflect the times and culture that they live in so when they intermingle, there is always a lot of action. BLOOD DIAMONDS is one of the author's best works to date and it will be interesting to see what will happen to Ben and Danielle in the next installment of the series.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "brenlee1" on April 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jon Land has topped himself in his latest novel, Blood Diamonds.
This book works on a lot of levels: it has the tight action and political intrigue we've come to expect from Land. Addtionally, the characters have been much more developed than in any of his previous novels, including the character of the Dragon.
The book also touches on the literary themes of love and loss, as well as how children related to the legacy of their fathers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tina b. feldman on July 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Blood Diamonds is the fifth book in the Barnea-Kamal series and Providence author Jon Land writes a brilliant tale of intrigue that is a true page-turner. Chief Inspector (Pakad) Danielle Barnea of the Israeli Police teams up with Palestinian Inpector Ben Kamal in a cooperative effort to solve crime. Together they show that there can be cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians and that the two sides may not be so far apart.
Sierra Leone is a diamond-rich nation but an ongoing civil war rocks the country. The instability is made worse by greedy, guerilla rebels who will stop at nothing to get the diamonds and use them to meet their own evil goals. The leader of the rebels is a fanatic named the Dragon who is not content to ravage her country, she plots a coup that will topple Western governments. Ben and Danielle must race against time and numerous obstacles to stop the Dragon.
Ben and Danielle face more than external enemies in this book as each must struggle with internal demons. Land writes, "She had felt nothing for so long it was good to feel even this. Years ago, during her tenure with the Sayeret, it was moments like this that had made her feel the most alive. To do that job you had to accept more than violence; you had to welcome it. After Beirut that had all begun to change, culminating sixteen months ago when pregnancy took away her taste for the very work that defined her. Her own mortality had suddenly become an issue." Her strength is tested even further when she faces an enemy from her past.
Ben also has demons to face as he uncovers pieces of the past and the truth about his father's death. The always colorful Colonel Al-Asi tells Ben, "Your father advocated that the Palestinians make their own peace with the Israelis or risk losing far more than they had already.
Read more ›
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More About the Author

Since his first book was published in 1983, Jon Land has written twenty-eight novels, seventeen of which have appeared on national bestseller lists. He began writing technothrillers before Tom Clancy put them in vogue, and his strong prose, easy characterization, and commitment to technical accuracy have made him a pillar of the genre.

Land spent his college years at Brown University, where he convinced the faculty to let him attempt writing a thriller as his senior honors thesis. Four years later, his first novel, The Doomsday Spiral, appeared in print. In the last years of the Cold War, he found a place writing chilling portrayals of threats to the United States, and of the men and women who operated undercover and outside the law to maintain U.S. security. His most successful of those novels were the nine starring Blaine McCracken, a rogue CIA agent and former Green Beret with the skills of James Bond but none of the Englishman's tact.

In 1998 Land published the first novel in his Ben and Danielle series, comprised of fast-paced thrillers whose heroes, a Detroit cop and an Israeli detective, work together to protect the Holy Land, falling in love in the process. He has written seven of these so far. The most recent, The Last Prophecy, was released in 2004.

Recently, RT Book Reviews gave Jon a special prize for pioneering genre fiction, and his short story "Killing Time" was shortlisted for the 2010 Dagger Award for best short fiction and included in 2010's The Best American Mystery Stories. Land is currently writing Blood Strong, his fourth novel to feature Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong--a female hero in a genre which, Land has said, has too few of them. The second book in the series, Strong Justice (2010), was named a Top Thriller of the Year by Library Journal and runner-up for Best Novel of the Year by the New England Book Festival. The third, Strong at the Break, will be released this year, and the fourth, Blood Strong, will follow in 2012. His first nonfiction book, Betrayal, written with Robert Fitzpatrick, tells the behind-the-scenes story of a deputy FBI chief attempting to bring down Boston crime lord Whitey Bulger, and will also be released in 2011.

Land currently lives in Providence, not far from his alma mater.

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