- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (June 11, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393341798
- ISBN-13: 978-0393341799
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 126 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bloodmoney: A Novel of Espionage Paperback – June 11, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Foreign intrigue specialist Ignatius (The Increment) continues his fictional trek through terrorist hot spots with this timely thriller about the CIA's bungling attempts to influence Pakistan's shaky, insecure leadership. Sophie Marx, an agent hungry to return to the field after a high-level but boring desk job, works for a new intelligence unit disguised as a Los Angeles record company, Hit Parade, whose undercover focus is to control Pakistani organized terrorist cells through bribery. It's not working. Not only are the terrorist attacks continuing but CIA agents delivering the bribes are being murdered. To make matters worse, Hit Parade's secret funding source—a highly illegal strategy to skim money from the world's financial markets—is rapidly becoming public knowledge. Ignatius, a Washington Post columnist, is especially good at capturing the work environment at the CIA, where petty bickering, one-upmanship, and moral lapses often get in the way of sound policy. (June) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“You won’t regret spending time with Bloodmoney.”
- The Atlantic
“Fast-paced, well-written and carefully crafted, Bloodmoney is an exceptional thriller. Filled with believable and interesting characters and enough action to satisfy a Steven Spielberg fan, it is a great novel.”
- Daily News
“A gripping, ripped-from-the-headlines CIA thriller set in Pakistan that will have you wondering just how much is actually fiction.”
- The Daily Beast
“[David] Ignatius at his best.”
- Washington Times
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Top customer reviews
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So it was with eager anticipation that I began to read his novels several years ago. I must say I've learned more about the intricacies of politics in the Middle East from his "fiction" than from dozens of print articles or broadcast media. This book had me almost holding my breath as the plot twisted and turned. It presents a compelling, stunning, and not implausible "shadow CIA" that seems even more believable, given the most recent revelations about our Intelligence community's breadth and depth. His characters reveal not just their strengths, but their weaknesses, their failings, their prejudices - in short, their humanity - as the plots likewise unfold.
I say my "favorite" perhaps because I was in need of an engaging book that was well written, a focus that was entirely new to me, and yet one in which I could just relax and "go with the flow" rather than be edified, despite my appreciation for what I've learned from others of his novels.
Ignatius probably knows as much about the inner workings of the CIA and other national Intelligence operations as any other person outside McLean, and arguably may have a better grasp of "the big picture" than anyone inside or out.
If you want a spy thriller with corpses in various European locales, red herrings amid tantalizing clues, and compelling characters worthy of the plot's twists and turns, then this is a book you'll not want to put down.
It’s a heady ride, with a believable trip through the freespending myth of intelligence that many of us want to believe. Concomitantly, it reveals the institutional CIA that we have come to know as reality. It also gets very up close on several characters, and there was not a moment in the course of reading this that I ever had a sense of how it would end.
This book delivers from beginning to end, and I may have to slow my reading to enable me to find other works on such a level. It’s really that good.
Problem 1. There is no voice. Not one character emerges as having the book's story to tell, to become the reader's motivation for continued reading -- to bring excitement to and invigorate the tale. All the 5 or 6 primary characters appear rather as equals in the story. Even the heroine and main character, Sophie Marx, shows no heroic features in her persona. I really didn't care if she and the good guys won out in the end or not.
Problem 2. The story is a bit too cute. By that I mean the plot is vague and murky from start to finish. Who are these people? What are they doing? Who's in charge? Why would I care? When do I find out some of the answers to the puzzle of money laundering? The basic set-up of the fake investment company in London to fund the operations of the secret black ops CIA-stepchild agency doesn't fly, and worst of all, the attempted explanations of how it all works (financially) are uber-muddy and not logical, let alone credibly detailed.
Problem 3. The book is too easy to put down and way too difficult to pick up. It took me 3 weeks to read the thing. I would normally read such an international espionage thriller in 3 days or less. Thus, sorry to say, I found no compelling reason to persist in reading it.
Problem 4. The "love story" is not believable - at all. It's just plain silly at its core. Sophie's new love interest (as it works out in the end) may be a brilliant guy, but he's a total boob.
Problem 5. The entire denouement lacks credibility. It all works itself out in about 9 quick pages, unconvincingly and rather unbelievably as well.
All that said, the story has some redeeming characteristics. It is current. That is, the locales, people and the story's raison d'etre make sense in this hateful modern world of terrorist activity by everyone. In addition, most of the descriptions of various locations and situations in which the scenes occur are first-rate, believable and, to my knowledge, accurate. Mr. Ignatius is good at setting the geographical scene and scenery. These scenes somewhat made up for the bad plotting.
To rate this story is a dilemma for me. It's somewhere between a 1 and 3, and probably near 2.25. So that's what I'll give it, a 2, out of sheer frustration with and disappointment in the ultimate total product.
Most recent customer reviews
Believable, even if it is fiction. Highly recommended by me.
Looking forward to the next of the author's novels.