Apr 10, 2012

Bloodman

I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

Bloodman by Robert Pobi

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. -Amazon.com

I'll start off by saying that I enjoyed this book. I like crime novels (and tv shows. and movies.) and as far as they go this was a pretty good one. Not great, but enjoyable enough.

I found the characters to be...a little obvious. Starting with the main character - Jake Cole, tough FBI agent with a troubled past. His father - brilliant artist and alcoholic, now succumbed to the horror that is Alzheimer's. The small town Sheriff that's in over his head. Boring, boring, boring. And the thing with the storm - I know it was meant to bring a sense of urgency to the story, but instead it just got in the way.

The ending also left something to be desired. (Don't worry, no spoilers!) It wasn't that I figured it out before the big reveal - I did, but that doesn't really bother me. And it wasn't even that it's been done before. I don't really know what it was, really, just that I didn't like it for this book. It felt...wrong. I don't know.

All that being said - the book has a lot of redeeming qualities. Robert Pobi is a man that sure can paint a beautiful word picture. Even when describing a horrific murder scene. And the murders were truly horrific. Like, seriously twisted, sick and terrible. Exactly how I like my murder scenes. They're the kind of thing that really makes you hate the bad guys, ya know? It's the kind of story that really could have stood on it's own, without the storm to create extra drama.

On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically Awful, I'd give it a pretty good. I don't regret reading it. I've certainly read worse crime novels. I'd recommend reading it, but if you've got other books on the old night stand, don't feel bad about putting this one to the bottom of the pile.

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