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Bloodmoney: A Novel of Espionage Hardcover – June 6, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Top Customer Reviews
Two matters stand out in this novel, looking through the eyes of the enemy and why he is motivated to act as he does. A brilliant mathematician/computer scientist/professor, "pondered how he might make these assassins feel the same fear that the people of his valley had felt for all these years," after seeing his whole family destroyed by an American drone. There is a bit of sympathy for this person, but he is still presented as a criminal. The other matter is the constant need for subterfuge, the lies of espionage and intelligence communities even within their own ranks, the problems and the necessities to get their job done.
The mystery to be solved is: Where is the leak that is getting agents killed? How do they know where and when these undercover operatives are going to be? This is a political thriller, a mystery that perhaps delves deeper into the seas of the espionage world than they would enjoy.
Where Ignatius shines of course is in describing the actions and methods of the news media. Ignatius, has researched his subject thoroughly, even traveling into these dangerous regions. It is an interesting twist to get inside the head of someone who wishes to kill your countrymen; but even more than that is the fact that the reader can picture and feel and know and empathize with all of the main characters. It is a well written novel that will pull you into its' world.
Regardless of whether the secret, high-tech CIA spinoff part is based on reality, this book shines a light on current events in Southern Asia. Ignatius stood in the shoes of each of the characters instead of having it just be Sophie Marx's narrative. She drives the story in that it's her job to uncover the truth, but the world of Bloodmoney is so messy there really are no clear-cut heroes and heroines. As a result, the reader sees the post-9/11 world from a variety of perspectives: the predator drone survivor, the boy from Waziristan who grew up watching the Americans arm the Taliban, the Western-educated Pakistani general, the warrior whose culture is steeped in vengeance, the old guard CIA, the change agent of a new administration, the foot soldiers operating without a big picture view, the civilian called on to help his country, etc.
The book spans the globe, from the San Fernando Valley to London to Waziristan, and Ignatius describes each setting in vivid detail. The descriptions of places I've been were quite accurate and I was able to clearly see the places I haven't been.Read more ›
Ignatius paints a crazy, depressing picture of the situation over in the Middle East that will be fixed in no quick manner. The most superficial question here is whether it is moral to use remote-control drones to take out military targets. Is it a cleaner, less bloody solution? It certainly takes away some of the moral heft of the decision away from the actors, who are no longer participating in the war zone, but instead are up to 10,000 miles away.
Along the lines of sophisticated intelligence fiction like Tom Clancy's work and even a touch of the fascinating political intrigue of the excellent Gods of Ruin: A Political Thriller, BloodMoney will be a great addition to your reading list.
"Bloodmoney" is also a tale of a secret intelligence splinter group that operates with the faintest of mandates from the oval office to stop terrorist groups by paying them off with big bags of cash, but without direction from Mother CIA. It is this group that begins to lose personnel at the hands of the revenge-seeking Pakistani. The rest of the book is about tracking the angry scientist and stopping his warpath to honor.
The book gets off to a good start and has pretty good "bones". But overall, it leans too far in the direction of fantasy for my taste. The characters seemed too often one-dimensional, the dialogue implausible and artificial, and the conclusion muddled and just not fully credible. Under the category of "really annoying"--the first half of the book is overburdened with pithy Pashtun tribal sayings--seemingly one every other page. This device is abandoned almost completely further into the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read Agents of Innocence first, followed by Bloodmoney. David Ignatius writes really well and knows his subject matter. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Suzanne T
Good read. Although complete fiction it Keeps you interested. At the same time makes you think. Could it really happen?Published 2 months ago by charles aslinger
I liked the book! It kept me reading, as do most of Ignatius books. Lots of likely inside views of our spy agencies, but who can tell?Published 5 months ago by The Old Fisherman
What's not to like; the very real characters, are three dimensional and flow along with the story. A bit of an anti-war novel, but don't we need some of those?Published 7 months ago by Very Simple Hermit
Ad always David Ignatius does a brilliant job of pulling you into his world. His book are practically modern historical novels.Published 10 months ago by dominique hunter
This is the second novel that I've read by David Ignatius and I'm impressed enough that I plan to keep on reading future novels by him, as well as combing through his back... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Donald E. Gilliland
Awesome story that kept me reading and reading. When I finished I felt I knew more about how the CIA does "business" in the world. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Loving Florida!
I liked the idea that one intelligent person could cause so much trouble for so many. I also liked the layers of deception that were in play.Published 12 months ago by R. Bocock