Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Blood of Angels: A Novel Hardcover – June 28, 2005
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
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
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I downloaded book 2 to my Kindle and read it in one sitting. No choice now but to download book 3, this one, and get started.
Now that I finished all three I can comprehend the entire scale of this trilogy. From very simple beginnings the story grew to global and historical proportions. It was a blast and I enjoyed the entire tale. Very nicely done!
This novel is definitely an intricate, well thought out work of suspense. The characters in this novel are very well drawn and Dennehy's relationship and interaction with them gives the novel a very personal touch.
Two thumbs up for this one.
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.
There are several intertwined threads to this story; a full description would both be beyond the scope of this review and also impossible without spoilers. The central character is Thomas Dennehy, an Assistant District Attorney in Davidson County, TN whose life is about to be completely disrupted by the intersection two seemingly unrelated cases. Almost immediately, Dennehy and his associates in the DA's office are notified by Georgetown University Professor and death penalty opponent Phillip Buchanan that a prison inmate named Charles Bridges has just confessed to a murder for which they convicted Wilson Owens and then successfully argued for the imposition of the death penalty. Since Owens has already been executed, Dennehy suddenly starts "to seriously pay attention. The fact that my life is about to change is vaguely announcing itself now, a light humming in my synapses." He gradually comes to believe that it is quite possible that he will have the notoriety of becoming the prosecutor on the first case where an innocent man actually was executed.
Coincident with the investigation into Bridges' claims, Dennehy is the lead prosecutor in another potential death penalty case. Moses Bol, a Sudanese refugee living in Tennessee Village (largely populated by immigrants) is accused of the brutal murder of a white woman from the neighboring Nations enclave (a bastion of lower class whites). The juxtaposition of the two cases causes a national media spotlight to be focused on Nashville; inevitably protests are mounted and violence erupts. As in Arvin's previous novels, interwoven with these storylines is the complex personal story of Dennehy himself. While facing perhaps the greatest challenge of his life, his is also attempting to deal with the price which his professional career has led him to pay in terms of his failed marriage and his strained relationship with his young daughter.
This is both an action and a psychological thriller; however, lovers of legal thrillers should be aware that the actual courtroom scenes are almost non-existent. BLOOD OF ANGELS is not about legal maneuvering, but rather concerns a a search for the truth as the upcoming trial of Moses Bol is enveloped by the shadow cast by the long-ago trial verdict that eventually led to the execution of Wilson Owens. The lives of several of the central characters including members of the DA's office are impacted during the course of the story as further assaults and additional murders occur.
This is not only a thriller, but a story where morality and religion and their role in the complex choices which individuals face are central to the plot. While the story utilizes the backdrop of powerful forces arrayed against each other in the debate concerning the morality of capital punishment, the reader is never subjected to either preaching or propaganda regarding a specific viewpoint (as was the case with the film THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE and so often detracts from my enjoyment of death penalty stories). This is rather a fast moving thriller which also features the intense impact which these cases have on Dennehy's personal life.
As mentioned earlier, It is difficult to compare Arvin's three books which I have read, I thoroughly enjoyed all three. THE LAST GOODBYE (review 2/17/2004) was the most complex plot but had a somewhat more standard storyline and was much less an investigation of complex societal and moral issues. Due to its philosophical undercurrent as well as the story's complexity, my favorite is definitely THE WILL (review 7/19/20040: however, the more overtly religious theme of certain segments of this story (while never "preachy") might not appeal to some readers. If you appreciate good story telling you will probably want to read all three regardless of which one you read first, and they are all completely standalone novels.
One final note: the publisher is to be congratulated for its pricing strategy with this book. I hope that what I assume is an experiment to determine if a lower price would attract more readers to Arvin's fiction succeeds. This is one of the real bargains to be found in a world where so much fiction is overpriced given the frequent short length of novels and the waste of space with chapter breaks every few pages, blank facing pages and overly large type. Finally, a book where I felt that I got more than my money's worth.