The Ignorance of Blood
Robert Wilson
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Buy *The Ignorance of Blood* by Robert Wilson online

The Ignorance of Blood
Robert Wilson
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
432 pages
June 2009
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Wilson’s Inspector Jefe Javier Falcon has promised the people of Seville that he will find the culprits responsible for a shocking terrorist bombing in Seville in June 2006. Three months have passed, and Falcon has not forgotten his commitment - or gotten any closer to solving the crime.

The heinous act of terrorism aside, crime is flourishing in the city. Then a fatal crash yields the bloodied corpse of a Russian mob enforcer with a violent history, computer disks of important people in compromising situations, and a trunk full of cash. Falcon finally catches a break, able to make the critical link between the bombing and recent Russian mob activities including drugs, prostitution and human trafficking.

Clearly the world has changed since the bombing, terrorism adding yet another layer to the network of criminal enterprise, and Falcon is acutely aware of the weight of his responsibilities. This is a man accustomed to nuance, thoughtfully sifting, considering motives, activities and the connections between geopolitical agendas and the easy profits of the streets.

As Falcon considers the changing relationship of the Russian mob and the terrorists, he realizes he can take nothing for granted, observing past events from a different perspective. The action, once begun, is relentless, negotiations with the unpredictable Russian mafia, competing government agencies that prove reluctant to share information, and the confidences of Yacoub Diouri, a dear friend, a spy for the Spanish government being blackmailed by Islamist extremists.

In light of the new information, the landscape of the investigation is reconfigured. Javier considers an unexpected collaboration with Esteban Calderon, a judge accused of murdering Falcon’s ex-wife, highlighting the strange bedfellows of opportunistic crime in a new era.

There are few comforts for Falcon, other than a blooming relationship with Consuelo Jimenez. But even this small respite is violated, Consuelo drawn into Falcon’s world, the inspector faced with decisions that will bring him to his knees. There are no rules in this game, no code of honor: “It’s like trying to negotiate for more time from death.”

Wilson has cut his teeth writing such thrillers, the fast-paced world of crime, local and international, The Ignorance of Blood the final book of Falcon’s remarkable life in Seville. For all his fervor, Wilson’s protagonist is simple and logical, without pretension. Beyond the many-layered, sophisticated plot is the man, a deeply moral policeman who is tested by events in ways he could never have anticipated, including the terrible price of his growing relationship with Consuelo Jimenez.

There is no direction for Falcon that is not fraught with danger. Appalled by the brutality of the Russian thugs and the duplicity of the terrorists, Falcon cannot let himself fail an innocent victim trapped in a cycle of violence that leaves no room for error. It is in this dark territory that Wilson excels, exposing Falcon’s soul as an honorable man is faced with irrevocable decisions that cannot leave him unscathed.

Psychologically complex, Falcon is a moral Everyman forced into an impossible conundrum. Haunted by the past, guided by his instincts, Falcon must commit murder in order to save a life… and live with the consequences.

Click here for Luan Gaines' interview with The Ignorance of Blood author Robert Wilson

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Luan Gaines, 2009

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