Deceptive appeal

Blood Money by David Ignatius.   | Photo Credit: Scanned in Chennai R.K.Sridharan

From the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Body of Lies,comes Blood Money, a complex tale of political intrigue, deception and espionage.


Highly relevant to the present state of world affairs, Blood Money involves the covert operations of an intelligence agency not unlike the CIA of the United States of America but one, which operates on its own agenda and funding.

Chief of Counter-Intelligence, Sophie Marx, recently hired and looking to establish herself, finds her task cut out as one of the “moles” of the organisation goes missing during a highly sensitive mission in Pakistan. With assistance from the head of the secretive unit, the enigmatic Jeffrey Gertz, Sophie sets out to put things right. A complex game of deception ensues putting the delicate balance of international relations and diplomacy in serious jeopardy.

In the meantime, Professor Omar, former ally of the U.S., has vowed revenge after the bombing of his family home by American forces. Using his insight into the American intelligence system, the Professor seeks to mount a major offence against those who murdered his family. This volatile situation makes for some compelling, espionage style of storytelling and the author takes advantage of this suspense filled premise and delivers in full.


The book has its fair share of twists, turns and plot changing events, all the while ensuring that the story stays within the limits of credibility.

Extensive research by the author regarding the inner workings of the intelligence agencies like the CIA and ISI as well as the customs of the region lend a stamp of authenticity to proceedings.

The moral ambiguity of the characters makes it difficult for the reader to choose sides and works toward the progression of the storyline.

However, Blood Money tends to get a little predictable at times. Also, the simplistic nature of the storyline gets convoluted, especially towards the end, with different characters working in different angles in order to fulfil their needs. This works against the pacing of the storyline, making it fall just short of being a highly engaging read.

With a tagline stating “All warfare is based on deception”, readers know what to expect from Blood Money and the author, David Ignatius delivers on that front.

Despite some flaws with regards to the convoluted plot, Blood Money is an espionage thriller spiced with a generous dose of suspense and intrigue that will appeal to both fans and newcomers to the genre.

Rufus is a trainee with Cognizant.

Title:Blood Money

Author: David Ignatius

Publisher:Penguin India

Price:Rs. 499

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 11:56:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/deceptive-appeal/article2632800.ece

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