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Reviews - What do customers think about An Incident at Bloodtide?
The 12th Mongo book: eternity and the river Jun 13, 2005
"[T]he sun's rays...bathing the normally mud-coloured river in a red glow that was heightened by a recent bloom of microorganisms, a relatively rare and short-lived phenomenon I had heard local sailors and fishermen refer to as 'bloodtide'." - Mongo, hoping to avoid paddling on the Hudson River, just before accepting a tow
AN INCIDENT AT BLOODTIDE contains major spoilers for AN AFFAIR OF SORCERERS, SECOND HORSEMAN OUT OF EDEN, and THE LANGUAGE OF CANNIBALS, so if you haven't read them, shoo. Harper Rhys-Whitney is travelling in the this site as the story opens, and only due back near the end. Kevin Shannon is out of office, and the kind of influence the Fredericksons have in Washington DC has changed accordingly. Recurring supporting characters featured include Vicky Brown and April Marlowe.
Mongo and Garth are towed home from an ill-planned sailing jaunt by Tom Blaine, a riverkeeper who works full time for the Cairn Fishermen's Association at catching polluters. In the Mongo narrative universe, the Shannon presidency has been replaced by a pro-business anti-environmental protection regime that effectively treats the river as something to take money out of and pour pollution into, so Blaine is an unprotected whistleblower type. Within days of the rescue, Mongo and Garth's wife Mary find Blaine floating in his beloved river, supposedly after diving too near a tanker's engines.
But why would Carver Shipping personnel bother to murder Blaine when anything he could report them for would merit only a fine and a metaphorical slap on the wrist, if that?
Mary and Garth, meanwhile, have their own problems. An old boyfriend - a supposed ceremonial magician calling himself Sacra Silver - has oozed back into Mary's life. She's so frightened of what he might do to those she loves (and sending such mixed signals by not ordering him to stay away) that Garth is demoralized to the point of moving back in with Mongo for awhile.
Nice little plot of psychological warfare going on between "Sacra Silver" and the Fredricksons, with some really creative, evil moves on Silver's part. The Blaine murder makes a refreshing change of pace from the more usual spy-versus-spy cases of many Mongo novels, although environmental protection issues draw an equally jaded, cynical appraisal.
Drive-in totals: - Two dead bodies. - No direct sexual content, though some past incidents are referred to. - Two hospital visits. - No car crashes. - Bureaucratic tangle of jurisdictions, with the Coast Guard refusing to take ownership of the issues at hand. - Kung fu. - Musical instrument fu. - Philosophical discourses about belief systems.