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3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,632 Ratings  ·  213 Reviews
Someone in Pakistan is killing the members of a new CIA intelligence unit that is trying to buy peace with America's enemies. It falls to Sophie Marx, a young CIA officer with a big chip on her shoulder, to figure out who's doing the killing and why. Her starting point is Alphabet Capital, the London hedge fund that has been providing cover for this secret operation, but t ...more
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published June 6th 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 2011)
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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Best Spy Novels
204th out of 804 books — 1,428 voters
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern11/22/63 by Stephen KingState of Wonder by Ann PatchettThe Art of Fielding by Chad HarbachThe Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Kirkus Best Books of 2011
33rd out of 88 books — 173 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jack Erickson
Nov 30, 2011 Jack Erickson rated it it was ok
Ignatius is one of the most qualified writers of espionage thrillers, being the Washington Post's correspondent who covers the CIA and the Middle East for the last 25 years. His sources are mostly anonymous, but they have shared the secrets of intelligence trade craft with Ignatius. As a result, his novels have been the most realistic of the sordid world of intelligence operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. His "Body of Lies" was an exceptionally poignant and troubling story of how American intell ...more
Sue Smith
Apr 23, 2014 Sue Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised with this one actually! Saw it featured on the library front feature blurb and thought it sounded pretty good - and I was ready for a good spy thriller book as well, which always helps you get into a book a little faster.

Well, it was meant to be. I picked it up during the week before the anniversary of my father's death and once I started reading, I smiled thinking that it would have been a book that he would have liked- political intrigue and dirty spies with a hidden
Jun 02, 2013 Gino rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: all-you-can-drink beach goers
All Flash. No Substance. I guess a beach and pina coladas would make it satisfying. Ignatius seems to have overdosed on plot-by-the-numbers and to have had no time for the details of either his characters or his plot development. Warning: there will be spoilers, I guess.

Sophie could have been a good character. Most of the others had no such chance, but nearly all of them ended up doing & saying ridiculous, stupid, out-of character things:
1. Sophie says "I can't imagine how his cover could h
May 26, 2012 Bea rated it really liked it
Setting Pakistan. CIA and government undercover contractors. Someone killing agents. Spies. Corruption. Good people caught in lies. Smart people manipulating others. Power. Money.

These are the ingredients for an action-packed novel about murder and deception. Sophie Marx is chosen by her boss to find out who is killing their agents. She has a history that makes her a good choice as well as the personal characteristics that can make her successful. However, the more she digs and learns the more t
Jun 22, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it
A blacker than black operation that is so far off the CIA books that only the U.S. president and his chief of staff know about it. The idea is that lack of bureacratic oversight and Congressional committees will produce a nimble and adaptable outfit to fight the war on terrorism. Sounds good until operatives become targets and are being killed off. On the homefront none of the staff seems to know how or why the agents are discovered, the head of the outfit plays it close to the vest so no one un ...more
John DeDakis
Jul 11, 2012 John DeDakis rated it it was amazing
When you read a book by Washington Post reporter David Ignatius, you learn something. A lot of somethings. In this case, you learn about the intricate minuet that is spy-craft in the post 9/11 age, specifically as it relates to the U.S. relationship with Pakistan. If you're looking for car chases, shoot-em-ups, and 007-ooo-wow-gadgetry, look someplace else. If, on the other hand, you wonder, "why do they hate us?" and why fighting terrorism seems so futile, Ignatius will show you. "Bloodmoney" i ...more
Jul 28, 2011 Zbegniew rated it really liked it
Shelves: espionage
As a spy novel, I thought it was good. The characters were interesting, if not as fully fleshed out as in LeCarre's best. The plot was also good with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting, and not so many plot holes that it ruined my suspension of disbelief. A standard element of spy thrillers is visiting exotic locales, and that was also done well. But for me, the best feature of the book was the way the author makes Pakistan a little more understandable. It is the clash of cultures th ...more
Michael Martz
To start off, I'm a big Ignatius fan, so these comments are based on comparisons to his previous work. This is a very good novel, but he has set the bar high for himself and Bloodmoney fell a little short.

As with all his books, the details seem to be well-researched and they ring true in most cases. The plot was realistic and held my interest to the end. The only quibbles I have with the novel are these:

- the dialogue seemed off. People, even spies as far as I can imagine, just don't talk like t
Jun 27, 2011 Dan rated it liked it
Somebody is killing the most secretly placed agents in other countries, but how are they being found out? This is what Sophie Marx, a CIA operative must find out. As the title state, is it all about money? The author takes current political climate and wraps them into a thriller that is disturbing (and I don’t mean bad, but one that makes you think). It’s a political power play for the characters that control the operatives, but the money involved.
Apr 23, 2015 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend recommended Ignatius to me, and I was lukewarm about the first book of his I read (The Director), but I’m glad I came back for a second try.
The story in this 2012 spy thriller concerns a super-secret CIA offshoot working in Los Angeles under deep cover as a pseudo music-biz operation called the Hit Parade (a name the agents employ without apparent irony). But something is amiss, because a key undercover agent disappears from the streets of Pakistan, followed by the assassination of thre
Martha Johnson
Apr 03, 2013 Martha Johnson rated it it was ok
A secret group inside Afghanistan is funded by bank arbitrage and insider trading. This book is very pat, trying to maximize everything from our digust with Wall Street to the mysteries of our conflicts overseas. It's entertaining, when you are stuck in a long commute, but otherwise pretty forgettable.
Jul 04, 2011 Nishant rated it it was ok
Slightly unbelievable characters... with a slightly unrealistic and simplistic plot... though he did get South Asians quite well -- The head of the ISI is quite astutely sketched.
Danyal Wahid
Jan 20, 2015 Danyal Wahid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am now officially a fan of David Ignatius. Even though I haven't read that many spy thrillers I can certainly estimate that this is one of the better works in the genre.
I didn't know much about the plot when I picked it up and was pleasantly surprised that it included a tug of war between the ISI and the CIA. The story was all the more enhanced due to my own personal knowledge about the conditions of my own native country.
I think the write got it right most of the time concerning the politica
Dec 28, 2011 Joe rated it did not like it
Shelves: spy-novels
Wow, it took me forever to read this book. And that's not a good thing. Wannabe-LeCarre-eqsue ending. Meh.
Toni Osborne
Nov 26, 2011 Toni Osborne rated it it was amazing
A Novel of Espionage

This spy novel is one of the best Mr. Ignatius has written so far. What makes this author stand out is we never know where the plotting will lead us. Deception is the theme of this captivating thriller, it is based on actual CIA operations and only someone with experience in the field can guess where fact crosses into fiction.

The central character is Sophie Marx who works at the ''Hit parade LLP' office in a Los Angeles, it is a secret branch within the CIA that works under
Deborah Gray
Apr 15, 2012 Deborah Gray rated it really liked it
This was my first exposure to David Ignatius and because I love thrillers I was shocked that I had never heard of him before. His writing is sharp, incisive, clever and strikes just the right balance between setting tone, creating scene, plot and sub-plot. I was captivated from the beginning and impressed with the extensive and very believable details of CIA, black ops, Pakistan and many other parts of the world, of which he clearly has an intimate knowledge.

Sophie Marx doesn't know what she's
John Salvesen
Jul 03, 2011 John Salvesen rated it it was ok
Not sure where I picked up the idea to read this book, in some financial blog I believe. It was certainly a good "beach book", easy to read, gripping storyline and a page turner. The basis behind it is that there is a CIA "like" organization operating outside the juristication of the actual government but the government is still aware of their actions. They are funded by a hedge fund that is leaked insider tips by this CIA organization on market changing world events. The fund makes huge bets on ...more
Jul 13, 2012 Ioana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book for free from a goodreads giveaway. Overall it was a good book and i could tell the author knew his stuff. I guess it wasn't really my type because i never really got into it and took me a few day to read it! Someone starts killing members of a secret CIA branch ( more secret than the regular CIA because it has no ties to the government and their money does not come from the state ) and Sophie Marx is the agent supposed to figure out what is going on. I didn't lik ...more
Dec 26, 2014 Philip rated it it was ok
Ignatius writes on the CIA and intelligence issues for the Washington Post, and his insider knowledge always shows in the details and "spook-speak" in his fiction, (including Body of Lies, which was made into a film with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe). However, while his reporting obviously remains fact-based, he lets his imagination run free in both Blood and Body -- in this case, a secret "rogue" CIA which even the "normal" CIA doesn't know about. Which is fine -- most fiction is by defi ...more
Haider Hussain
Oct 28, 2013 Haider Hussain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I accidentally bought the book only because (1) a slightly damaged one was available at a dirt cheap price, and (2) while flipping through the pages, I found a couple of strong Urdu/Punjabi curse words used in the story. Ok, I admit that I still love reading espionage, something that most of the 'mature' readers find completely immature.

Plot was set in the backdrop of counter-terrorism, with the main characters from CIA, Pakistan's ISI, and a terrorist outfit. All of the ingredients of a good e
Glenda Christianson
This novel a great read for anyone interested in learning a little about world politics while reading fiction. Not surprisingly, most of the characters are lying or hiding something...the book cover does say "A Novel of Espionage". It did take me awhile to decide who the "good guys" were. I was never entirely sure that I was right!

What I loved:
I loved that today's current events were woven through out this book. I loved the insight it gave into the Pakistani culture, the CIA and other covert ope
Jul 05, 2012 Devaki rated it really liked it
David Ignatius has written ‘Bloodmoney’ in the classic old war style with an interesting change of players. The use of banking for terrorist funding and its possible manipulation by Government for counter-terrorism activities is plausible and thought provoking. The best thing about the book was that Ignatius has not given too much narrative to fill in the gaps; he leaves most of it to our imagination. That’s the beauty of the book. Those who know the swift working shall be wondering if it’s poss ...more
Alan Brehm
Ignatius has an eye for meticulous detail. It's intriguing in many ways, but in this novel it gets in the way, in my opinion. It takes so long for him to build up to the "reveal" that you almost want to put the book down. It's worth persevering, because the plot is fascinating. Unfortunately, after grabbing my attention, he just "ended" the book abruptly. Too abruptly in my opinion. I enjoyed Agents of Innocence and Body of Lies much more.
Hock Tjoa
Mar 19, 2012 Hock Tjoa rated it it was amazing
This fascinating spy thriller mixes knowledge of the war in Afghanistan and the cost to the U.S. in terms of the enemies it is creating, of the advice to "follow the money" that worked before (during Watergate) and for the CIA in its tracking of al-Qaueda, and now for a lone terrorist seeking satisfaction for the senseless killing of his family. This begs the question, why only that of his family--but never mind. The author also weaves in hedge-fund voodoo and the sex interest of a young America ...more
Nov 05, 2011 Shireen rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, thriller
I don't usually read spy novels, but the plot for this one sounded intriguing. And I was captured by the idea of a lead female character. I wasn't disappointed.

I read the ebook version of Bloodmoney. Fiction is probably the easiest kind of ebook to read because there's no expectation of clickable notes, links that work, or even a table of contents, although this novel had one. It was a speedy read in some ways in that the action or feeling of action never stopped. Even in the slower scenes, the
Jul 10, 2011 Billpilgrim rated it really liked it
Espionage story about a secret US agency outside of the CIA that is trying to influence events in Pakistan. I did not quite follow all of the parameters of what they were trying to accomplish, or understand all the detail of the politics involved with the Pakistanis, but if you are able to ignore this issue, or if you are more adept of figuring this out than I was, you can still enjoy the book just on the basic level of an espionage thriller. The problem for me was that I did not find the book t ...more
May 31, 2015 Resalo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing tale of revenge and coverup orchestrated by a Pakistani scientist whose family was killed by a drone strike in 2005. Clever tale of how this mid east terrorist used the same cyber tools that the US employs to track terrorists to exact revenge on the US. Clever plot
Jul 22, 2014 Greg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was good. This was my first Ignatius book, and it started out good, building a plot and introducing the characters. As it rose toward the climax however, the author seemed to lose interest, and glossed over the final pieces. I was a bit disappointed in the final third of the book. I will try another to see if this is his typical technique, or an anomaly.
Jul 24, 2011 Grey rated it really liked it
OK -- so this is my first e-book on the iPad (no hyphen). I am really enjoying the story (very much in line with my analytic interests these days and very true to life) and actually enjoying the iPad experience. Easy to hold, pretty easy to read in the sun. So, both the book and the platform get a 10. However, I like the book well enough that I will also probably buy a hard copy. Can't put the e-book on one of our many overflowing bookshelves. I have already run across a couple of bon mot that I ...more
Jun 20, 2014 Rick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
wanted to like this, but the loose ends never quite added up and the stilted dialog made for some pretty tough reading. about 2/3 of the book was intriguing - but in the end it required too much suspension of disbelief to really enjoy it.
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David Ignatius, a prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post, has been covering the Middle East and the CIA for more than twenty-five years. His novels include Agents of Innocence, Body of Lies, and The Increment, now in development for a major motion picture by Jerry Bruckheimer. He lives in Washington, DC.
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“It is never too late to apply good sense as a corrective to stupidity.” 3 likes
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