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Tidewater Blood

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  115 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
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Published April 1st 2002 by Harper Paperbacks (first published January 4th 1998)
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I didn't really have any overwhelming feelings about this one way or the other. At 60% through I wasn't sure why I was still even reading it, but I wanted to know what would happen at the end, so I kept pushing through.

I didn't particularly like Charley and I didn't see this as realistic at all. The characters weren't really that fleshed out and when I got to the "big reveal" I was very underwhelmed.

But hey, I finished it.
Mike Owens
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read Hoffman's work before, and this book was a most pleasant surprise. It is well-crafted, full of rich detail and interesting characters.
This first person narrative is related by Charles LeBlanc, third son and official black sheep of the LeBlanc clan, a very prosperous Tidewater family that dug its riches from the West Virginia coal mines. Charles ekes out an existence on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay. Homeless, unemployed and penniless, his life is as basic as they come, until an
Julie Canfield
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys a good story that faces life
Recommended to Julie by: no one
Growing up wealthy does not shield us from pain nor make living life easy. Some, such as Charley find it's easier to live simple but learn you can't escape from your past. Charley lives a hermit along the Chesapeake, in a makeshift shelter using other peoples discards for things needed and used in everyday life, such as dishes, furniture and even clothing.This is not his past. Living off the land, making his own way, Charley seeks to hide from the world and the pain it can cause. However the wo ...more
Jan 14, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love books set in places I've lived!

Well, I said the above because I thought the book was set in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and, in part, it was. The rest was set in a fictionalized version of Thurmond, West Virginia, an old mining town about an hour from where I live now. And I especially love books set in TWO places I've lived!

That said, the book itself, the story of a n'er-do-well son of a prestigious Tidewater family seeking to clear himself of a murder was interesting in spots, but
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I kept trying to reject this book. It didn't look that interesting and what I had read about it sounded like it wasn't going to be. In the beginning, the plot wasn't even that interesting but something would not let me put it down. I don't know what it was but I do know it was a great read. Charley LeBlanc was born a half century ago with a silver spoon in his mouth which he spit out early and legitimately earned the label black sheep. But he was not behind the blast that blew up his family - no ...more
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book, but there were just too many things that annoyed me about it to make it an enjoyable read. Charley LeBlanc, the story's narrator and protagonist, is almost entirely unlikable, and his woe-is-me attitude toward pretty much everything made me very unsympathetic to his plights. The story moves slowly, and most of the characters are more stereotype than developed. The ending is actually clever, and it does make you reconsider some of the previous story details in a ...more
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A highly-touted thriller which is hardly average. An unimaginative plot, a wandering, aimless story like its narrator, and characters that fail to engage, it is a below-average thriller which is lent some respect by way of authentic Southern backdrop and language. The disowned son of a wealthy family is framed for blowing up his elder brother along with his family at a party. Expectedly, manages to absolve himself but without any real investigative or analytical work. Don't intend to read more b ...more
Ann Woodlief
Oct 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written by an excellent but underrated Virginia author who lived on a farm in Charlotte County and recently died. It's a mystery--a prominent family has been wiped out by an explosion, and the black sheep brother is suspect. It's rather heavy handed with the "lawmen's: characterizations, determined to pin him, and it's quite a saga of how he tracks down who committed the crime, full of injustice, secrets, and a Huguenot family that just can't get over its origins.
I recently discovered Mr. Hoffman at the Richmond Public Library after having a hankering to find some fiction books about Virginia. What interested me about this book is that not only did it fulfill my thirst for learning more about Virginia history, it was also a very mysterious read full of suspense and intrigue. Mr. Hoffman passed on last year but I'm seeking out his other books which I hope to find as entertaining as "Tidewater Blood." This one is definitely very hard to put down!
Mar 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
I know it's a mystery, but it reads like a literary novel. The book had an easy pace that kept me moving forward without feeling breathless. Hoffman's descriptions of the land are poetic. The dialogue is tight, but I came away knowing who each person was and where s/he was coming from. Highly recommend it.
Don Paske
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never read anything by William Hoffman before and can't recall why I chose this book, but am glad I did. If you don't like well-written books with well-written descriptions that bring things alive, you won't like this book. Well written with a surprise ending: what more do you want? I wish I could add a half of a star to make the rating 4 1/2...
Nov 25, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A contemporary Virginia aristocrat is assassinated on his own portico. We are then introduced to his black sheep brother who is a suspect. Hoffman is much too proud of his descriptive prose for my taste and is a monumental bore. I couldn't stay awake long enough to finish this one. I am adding Hoffman to my "Not In Search Of" list.
Dec 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good summer read.
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn't expecting this to be so well-written . So many unusual and interesting characters. Very good read.
May 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Virginia with lovely writing and a good mystery
L.P. Hoffman
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good writing, strong prose, and very literary.
Gloria Hargrave
Interesting people

Good wins in the end. I didn't know how he was going to do it,but he did. Law officers were unbelievable.
A whodunit, too wordy but nice ending.
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Andrew Mainhart
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Richard Beckwith
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