Saturday, June 9, 2012

My take on: Bloodman

Wow!! That's the only word I could think of after finishing Bloodman by Robert Pobi. I had to re-read the last few chapters twice to make sure I understood everything. I've never read anything like this before. It was very creepy. The whole book I'm trying to figure out who the killer is. One moment I think I've got it all figured out, only to realize I haven't.

Just look at the cover. Doesn't it freak you out? Is that a man? A woman? Black? White? Is he even human? I found myself wondering about that last one several times. The killer strikes quickly and quietly. He's almost like a ghost.

FBI agent Jake Cole has made a living breaking down crime scenes. Murder scenes specifically. He has a mind for murder. Jake can reconstruct a crime scene in his head. It's a useful tool when it comes to tracking a murderer. Jake's toughest puzzle yet brings him back home to Montauk, N.Y. His painter father, Jacob Coleridge, has descended into madness. Jacob set himself on fire and then jumped out of a window into his pool. He survived, and now Jake must figure out how to care for his father. The two have been estranged for decades. There is a real sense of hatred between the two. Even doped up on medication, Jacob resists Jake's presence.

From Jake's perspective, I got the sense that the relationship has always been strained. Jacob was this genius painter that Jake could never relate to. His mother, Mia, was always there for him. They were very close, but her brutal murder forever divided Jake and his father. Her murder was stomach-turning. If you're squeamish this next part isn't for you. His mother was skinned. She was alive while it happened, and she bled to death. Her murder mirrors the current crime Jake is investigating. A mother and her child were both skinned alive. What?!?!?!? Who or what could do that to a person?

This is like Silence of the Lambs territory. I'm sure it's physically possible for this to happen, but my brain just can't go there. It's too gruesome. Robert Pobi has a very vivid imagination. I wonder how he came up with this concept. It's very inhuman to do such a thing to a person, which is why I wondered if the killer was even human. Most of the story sounds very contemporary, but the murders are very out of this world. There is no trace of the murderer. No one sees or hears him. He strikes without warning. He really is the invisible man. Why do this? What is there to gain from it? Does it have something to do with Jake or his family? Is Jake the ultimate target?

As the murders start to pile up, the killer strikes very close to home. Jake's wife, Kay, and his son, Jeremy, have gone missing. It's almost more than Jake can take. He might not show emotion like everyone else, but internally he is a mess. His emotions are like ticking time bomb. He has such hatred for this elusive killer, he is ready to retaliate against anyone who crosses his path.

When we finally learn who the killer is, I was just awestruck. My mind didn't go there. Of course I won't tell you who it is because I want you to read this book. It was such a complex puzzle, I was guessing right up until the last few chapters. I didn't want to believe this character could commit murder. I wanted to believe in the good in this character. There was a darkness in this person, but there were reasons for the darkness. Like me, when you're done reading this book you will still be thinking about it.

Rating: O.M.G. !!

Note: I received a copy of the book from Wunderkind PR in exchange for an honest review.

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