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Blood of Angels    by Reed Arvin order for
Blood of Angels
by Reed Arvin
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Blood of Angels is everything one could want a suspense thriller to be exciting, fast-paced, with finely-drawn characterizations, action-packed, dripping with pathos, in a wonderful setting, and with a truly unexpected ending that will leave you panting for more.

Thomas Dennehy, a senior prosecutor in Nashville, must try a recent immigrant, Sudanese Moses Bol, for the rape and murder of a young woman from the Nations, the racially charged section of the city. This is not a clear-cut crime, but blood, fibers, and body fluids point to Bol. Complications arise that threaten to cause rioting. Pro-life groups picket. The residents of the Nations promise bodily harm to anyone in the way of their perceived idea of justice. A minister who is trying to save her little part of the world offers an alibi for the accused. A man who has been executed is now thought to have been innocent of the crime for which he was put to death.

Arvin brings a moral issue to the forefront in Blood of Angels - that of bringing refugees from war-torn African countries to the United States in the guise of giving them a better life, only to dump them in unsuitable surroundings amongst people who don't understand them or their culture. They are seen as different in their hand-me-down clothes. Their color, their own language, and possibly tribal markings, make them stand out. Arvin's exploration of this reminded me of another book, The Lost Boys of the Sudan - a prime example of good going bad.

For an extremely well written thriller that will keep you up at night with the doors and windows locked and covers over your head, you can't go wrong picking anything by Reed Arvin.

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