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Bloodman [Kindle Edition]

Robert Pobi
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (233 customer reviews)

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Book Description

FBI contractor Jake Cole deciphers the language of murderers by reconstructing three-dimensional crime scene models in his head, a talent that has left his nerves frayed and his psyche fragile. Jake returns to Montauk, New York, for the first time in a quarter of a century when his father, a renowned painter, lights himself ablaze and crashes through a plate-glass window. Once home, Jake is pulled into a gruesome local homicide investigation that echoes his mother’s murder three decades earlier.

As he sifts through the detritus of his father’s madness, Jake discovers thousands of seemingly meaningless paintings stacked in the studio – a bizarre trail of dust-covered breadcrumbs the painter left as he tumbled down the rabbit hole of dementia. Breadcrumbs that Jake believes lead to the killer.

With the help of Sheriff Dan Hauser – a man scrambling to prepare the seaside community for the arrival of a catastrophic hurricane – Jake Cole sets out to find the seemingly unstoppable force of malevolence known as the Bloodman.

A unique and disquieting thriller that redefines the genre, Bloodman will leave you reeling long after its operatic finale.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Q&A with Robert Pobi

Question:
You've said in other interviews that you don't necessarily enjoy focusing on graphic scenes in your writing, yet Bloodman contains some fairly disturbing descriptions. Why did you choose to include them?

Robert Pobi: Bloodman is a story that has a serial killer at its core, so there are going to be some unpleasant things that have to be done. I couldn't have written the book without showing how the characters were affected by what was going on around them. I had to show what they had seen. So we both had to visit a disturbing headspace, the readers and I. The trick was to do it without making it lurid--which, in the end, made it even more jarring.

Q: Tell us about the research involved in creating such an isolated setting and complex characters.

RP: The first time I went to Montauk, I knew I'd end up writing about it. The hurricane idea grew because to this day, you still hear stories about the 1938 Long Island Express, the storm that nearly flattened the island. And I needed a place where a famous artist could live in relative obscurity, so it all came together. In hindsight, I had been collecting research for this book for a long time. Mindhunter, by Mark Olshaker and John Douglas, set the whole thing in motion. And from there I spun off into newspaper archives, interviews, news footage, and biographies. All the things I read helped me nail down my main character, Jake Cole, because they all became part of his lexicon, his day at the office. And I tried to give the hurricane, Dylan, some good chapters. He took a bit of research. The National Hurricane Center was very helpful.

Q: Which other authors or books have influenced your writing?

RP: The novel that made me realize that popular fiction could be smart was The Eiger Sanction by Trevanian. Every author has that one book that he loves; The Eiger Sanction is mine. I keep a copy of it on my desk. The only other obvious one, I guess, would be Thomas Harris's Red Dragon. It's a beautiful novel, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that the specter of it was behind me during all the late nights I worked on Bloodman. Seth Morgan's novel, Homeboy, knocked me out. Morgan had a massive voice. I wish he'd written more. I heard that the first chapter of his second novel is floating around out there. Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream still mesmerize me. I don't know how he did it, I really don't. And if I don't mention The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I'll regret it.

Q: Have you considered trying your hand at other genres?

RP: I'm working on contractual obligations for different publishers right now, so my roster for the next two years is: psychological thriller, horror story, techno-thriller, detective story. I honestly can't see writing only one kind of book for the rest of my career. I wouldn't know how. Since different countries have different perceptions of Bloodman, I get to flex a lot of different muscles, and I love the freedom. There are too many things I need to try.


From Publishers Weekly

Former antiques dealer Pobi boldly announces his arrival as a cunning novelist with this grim and gory debut thriller. FBI contractor Jake Cole, burdened with an uncanny ability to mentally recreate 3D crime scenes, returns home to Montauk, NY to care for his estranged father, a renowned painter suffering from Alzheimer's. But Jake is soon called into action by local authorities to help capture a ruthless serial killer who scalps and skins his victims. Tormented by his morbid profession, a dysfunctional family history, and the blood-thirsty psychopath, Jake must immerse himself in a past he thought he left behind decades ago. As the victims pile up--and a Category 5 hurricane bears down on the coastal town--he becomes convinced that the secret behind the thousands of mysterious canvases stacked along the walls of his father's art studio will lead him to the killer. Pobi revels in grisly scenes, and though the chilling finale might feel lacking, the author's cinematic vision and precise attention to detail, as well as a subtle trail of clues and a tight, macabre plot, trump character clichés and the incomplete denouement.

Product Details

  • File Size: 657 KB
  • Print Length: 429 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (May 15, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005J61CRU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,339 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's been a long time since I've read a first novel that enthralled and tested me like Robert Pobi's "The Bloodman"; an intriguing, complex thriller that twists it's way through a four day period in quiet Montauk, New York. Special Agent Jake Cole has come home after walking away from his abusive and alcoholic father twenty-eight years ago. His father, a talented painter now tortured by dementia, horribly maimed himself in a mysterious fire. Over the years, after battling his own demons, the anger and hatred Cole felt toward his father is now superseded by a numbing apathy. But as the only child to his widowed father, Cole feels it is his duty to attend to his affairs.

The night Cole arrives at his childhood home, now full of garbage and scotch bottles, he receives a call from the local sheriff. They found two bodies in a house up the beach from his father's place, a woman and a child both skinned alive. For Cole, this is a gut punch. The horrific scene at the crime is familiar, he recognizes the murderer's work from his own tortured past. Desperate to quickly finish his father's affairs and run home to his own wife and son, Cole now feels compelled to stay and work on this case. His eidetic memory, commonly referred to as photographic memory, allows him to reconstruct three-dimensional crime scenes in his mind, and provides him with an unusual skill that can assist the overwhelmed small town police force.

Everything about Agent Cole is unusual. A recovering substance abuse addict with the entire text of Dante's "Inferno" tattooed on his body, he can verbally shred an officer foolish enough to laugh at a crime scene, mentally suppress the graphic "pornography" of his job, and still come across as a devoted husband and father.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing June 1, 2012
By psl
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This type of writing is undoubtedly hard to do. When it is pulled off well (e.g. Thomas Harris) - what a treat. Unfortunately in this day and age it is hard to be original.
I'm not sure why this book has the hype and the advertising. The writing is bloated and repetitive. Full of cliches. Plot is ridiculous and requires an acceptance of so many incredulous coincidences, unrealistic behavior, etc.
Unfortunately if you are a sophisticated enough fan of this genre, you are familiar with the frustration of failures such as this. You have to wade through a dozen books like this to find one gem.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Plot is a bit Convoluted May 22, 2012
Format:Paperback
Bloodman is a debut novel and the author has certainly come up with an imaginative plot, albeit one which the more squeamish amongst his readers will find hard to take, probably to the point of giving up on the book. This apart, to my mind the author falls into the trap of many less experienced writers by making this story overly complicated and over long. It really is the case that less often proves to be more.

This is a tale which starts out well. Serial killer novels are almost a genre in their own right these days, with authors vying for the most outlandish ways for the victims to be offed and here we have an especially unpleasant series of killings. Jake Cole, a consultant to the FBI has a remarkable mental ability and attention to detail whereby he is able to visit a crime scene and then replay it in his mind subsequently searching for evidence which was missed during the first physical inspection. He is in the area when a particularly nasty double murder takes place which involves the victims being skinned alive and is drafted in to help the local police. It seemed to be shaping up for an interesting read.

Jake is not the most believable of investigators and it seems unlikely that the FBI should have employed someone who is so mentally and physically flawed which makes the basis of this tale a bit unlikely. I felt the story did not keep up its initial momentum and in particular did flag significantly in the middle. A lot of the narrative at that point contributed little and really felt like padding which was a shame as the story started to drag. The action certainly steps up towards the end and the climax is not without its twists and turns, although by that point this story had got rather convoluted and it was really not very believable.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloodman April 21, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Bloodman
By: Robert Pobi

In my opinion, this book has the full package: intriguing and unique characters; professional, well-done writing; atmosphere and an excellent plot.

Jack Cole works for the FBI. He comes home for the first time in 25 years. While seeing to his father's health problems a double homicide has him entangled in a time ticking race to find out the "who" and "why."

While reading this book I was totally consumed with the storyline. I had some questions that I thought were plot holes but in the end, it was not the case because it ties together in the denouement. The best part is that I didn't see this ending coming!

Bloodman is a book that definitely captures several genres (mystery, suspense, thriller, and horror) and does them all very well.

I am looking forward to Robert Pobi's next book, Mannheim Rex. The Toymaker's Children also sounds really good and that is due out in the Spring of 2013.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars To Know Me Is To Skin You
A chilling read with an ending that I never saw coming. Pick it up and you will not set it down until the eye of the hurricane has passed.
Published 3 days ago by J. B. Cowan
5.0 out of 5 stars He and Hannible could be best buds.
One of the most disturbing serial killers I have ever read. He and Hannible could be best buds.
Published 6 days ago by Poodledeb
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good!
Twist ending that I had no idea was coming. Very good!
Published 6 days ago by AGBlonde
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Horrible ending....
Published 7 days ago by Tresha Melquist
3.0 out of 5 stars No surprises
The first third of this book is a very engaging read. Mr Pobi has got some skills and a nice level of inventiveness, but short of giving spoilers, the killer's identity was pretty... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Matt Moody
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good book
Published 9 days ago by Reid Seasholtz
5.0 out of 5 stars but this book was amazing! I highly recommend this book
I don't usually give "must read" to books, but this book was amazing! I highly recommend this book, I won't go into details or give away anything so that being said Get... Read more
Published 9 days ago by N. Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very surprising ending.
Published 10 days ago by JANE ESQUIBEL
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent. Loved the main character. This author is great at character development.
Published 12 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good.
Published 12 days ago by Laura Gaas
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More About the Author

Robert Pobi dealt in fine Georgian antiques for thirteen years before turning to writing full-time. He has fished for everything that swims - from great white sharks off Montauk to monstrous pike in northern Finland. He prefers bourbon to scotch and shucks oysters with an old hunting knife he modified with a grinder. In warm weather he spends much of his time at a cabin on a secluded lake in the mountains and when the mercury falls he heads to the Florida Keys. The critical response to his first short story (written when he was twelve) was a suspension from school. Now he writes every day - at a desk once owned by Roberto Calvi.

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Bloodman
Just finished it. Thought it was pretty good up until the ending. Normally I'm ok with "twist" endings, when they're done well. I thought the twist was horrible. I should have known it wasn't gonna be good when he screwed up little details like having an FBI agent carry a .50... Read More
Jun 7, 2012 by D. Hamen |  See all 6 posts
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