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Book Reviews :: Greg Iles Blood Memory and The Footprints of God

20 October 2010 2 Comments

Because I’m so far behind, I’m going to take advantage of the fact that two of the reviews I need to write are by the same author and give two reviews in one post. Earlier this year I listened to my first Greg Iles novel – Turning Angel. Because it was everything I love in an audio book (remember I have ~45 minute commute twice a day, so because audio books are cheaper than therapy, I rely heavily on them), I was eager to try another one.

Blood Memory is just as good as I’d hoped for. It is the story of Catherine “Cat” Ferry, a forensic odontologist working with the New Orleans and FBI task force to solve a series of gruesome murders where bite marks are left on the victims. Her work becomes complicated when she starts blacking out at the crime scene, and her affair with one of the lead investigators is made public.

Cat looks toward home near Natchez, Mississippi, to find respite, only to accidentally uncover a pair of bloody footprints that cause a her to begin a path down her own memory trail to uncover unspeakable crimes in her own family. Psychological trauma, repressed memories and child abuse are all tangled up in Cat’s past and present. And, one of the characters from Turning Angel turned up here as well, and I like when writers connect their work like that.

Not destined for a Pulitzer Prize of literature, Blood Memory is an entertaining story that had me looking forward to my time in the car.

The Footprints of God – not so much. First let me give a bit of a disclaimer. For all my love of science, I care nothing for computers. The idea of a super-computer means nothing to me. I like computers for what they can do for me; I don’t expect or want them to do more than what I tell them to do.

This novel is about a secret government project to build a super computer. The main character – David Tennant – is one of a few experts in his field that were hand selected to be a part of Project Trinity. Each expert underwent a through brain scan and the intent is to then load the scans into a computer that will become like a working brain.

Unfortunately, each participant begins having fairly severe side-effects. Tennant’s side effects include severe narcolepsy with vivid dreams in which he sees himself participating in the scenes of the life of Jesus Christ, leading up to and including the crucifixion. So yes, I should also say that the whole religious thing didn’t work for me either. I don’t think that Iles is creating a Christ-figure in Tennant, but there is the whole ‘playing God’ by trying to control the universe theme that just doesn’t appeal to me.

There is much more than this. The members of the project turn on each other when some learn that a secret side project has been going on outside of the government’s purview. There’s a little romance with Tennant and his psychiatrist who has been trying to help him interpret his dreams. And, there is one whacked female security guard who desperately needs the professional help of Tennant’s paramour. But all together, it still was just bleh for me.  

So, there we have it – one thumbs up and one thumbs down for Greg Iles.

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2 Comments »

  • Rebecca said:

    I would never make it through my commute without books on tape. I'll definitely be adding one of these to my "to listen" list.

  • Elisabeth said:

    Rebecca – Please share some of your great audio book experiences! I think what makes audio books great is different from other books you read, so I'm often surprised by what I like.

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