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Bloodroot Hardcover – September 3, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Loehfelm follows Fresh Kills (2008), which won Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award, with another novel that mines the emotional dynamics of family relationships, if with fewer thrills. Kevin Curran, a history teacher at a Staten Island community college, is surprised when his younger brother, Danny, turns up after years spent on the street as a drug addict. Danny, who's kicked his habit but is now working for a local crime kingpin, persuades Kevin to help him dig up several bodies buried on the grounds of the long-abandoned Bloodroot Children's Hospital, a horrifying concentration camp–like institution for kids from which Danny was adopted. Soon Kevin finds himself enmeshed in a complicated plan involving an illegal property development project. The action gets moving in the final pages, but by then some readers will feel they know a lot about Kevin and Danny but not enough about the evil scientists and unspeakable crimes associated with Bloodroot. (Sept.)
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"Bloodroot is a triumph because of the characters and the collision courses - psychological, familial, criminal - Loehfelm sets up." --Irish-American Magazine
"The sort of tome to appeal to fans of Michael Connelly..." --San Francisco Book Review
"With BLOODROOT, Loehfelm joins the ranks of our finest literary crime novelists...deserving of a place beside the best of Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos."
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Top Customer Reviews
Years ago, his brother Danny disappeared. Danny was mainlining heroin and he was in terrible shape the last time Kevin saw him. Suddenly, Danny turns up literally from among the dead, announcing to Kevin that he is now clean and sober after he died from an overdose and was revived at a hospital. Danny seems to have his life together now. He drives a nice car, wears fine clothes, and has money to burn. But he paid a price for what he has, a very dark price. And Kevin soon discovers that Danny is not going to let him remain an innocent bystander to his shady existence for long...
From this basic crime plot, the story line veers into the Gothic about midway through the novel. Only instead of a dark and mysterious abbey we have a creepy abandoned home for orphan children, where horrible medical experiments took place. Danny and Kevin both have surprising connections to this terrifying old ruin. Unraveling these connections will lead to the novel's disturbing climax.
For me, the strength of "Bloodroot" was its vivid characters and clever dialogue. I thought the plot relied on a few too many coincidences, but it definitely held my interest all the way to the end. The way Danny sucks Kevin into his life of crime, the little compromises Kevin is forced to make along the way, keep this novel interesting to the finish. I recommend "Bloodroot" to people who like thrillers that pose difficult moral dilemmas.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is mainly about two brothers and their complicated relationship.Read more
Loehfelm has the stuff: he knows how to use words, write sharp and clever dialogue, and capture complicated family dynamics with finely honed...Read more