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Heart of Diamonds: A Novel of Scandal, Love…
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Heart of Diamonds: A Novel of Scandal, Love and Death in the Congo (2008)

by Dave Donelson

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I would heartily recommend this book. It was a great "non-stop" read -- and it opened my eyes to something of dire importance.

Long before reading Heart of Diamonds, I had, of course, heard about war in the Congo. Indeed, war seemed (and, I now see, actually is) a fact of daily life for the Congolese. Perhaps this very "ongoingness" made it lose significance, registering in my unconscious as an almost mundane event that people had somehow gotten used to, rather than the continuous phenomenon of horror that it is. This book gave me a gut-level sense of the ghastly lives to which the people of the Congo have long been subjected, and I am now ashamed of my simple-minded, blind complacency.

This book accomplishes something pretty impressive, in my opinion: While showing, in simple, hard-hitting prose, how a forgotten segment of humanity lives ON A DAILY BASIS with a level of violence and brutality we can't imagine, it truly reads like a blockbuster film! Strong characters (some of them suspiciously familiar) take bold action in a terrifying and fascinating situation.... In short, the story jumps right into your blood.

I hope many, many people will read this book. I know they'll enjoy it. Better yet, I also think they'll learn from it.

Bravo, Mr. Donelson, bravo and thanks. ( )
  donitamblyn | Jun 12, 2009 |
An Exhilarating, Eye Opening Read!

As Heart of Diamonds begins, the description of a brutal rebel attack on a Congolese village as told by a young Congolese boy will tear fiercely at your heartstrings. The brutality this child endured sets the stage for the balance of the story, yet it had me wondering if I could handle more. Donelson’s descriptions of life in the Congo are revolting yet riveting. As I continued turning the pages my view quickly changed from trepidation to anticipation.

While the depiction of the vicious, bloody civil war in the Congo remains a constant background theme, the exposure of a diamond smuggling operation by American TV journalist, Valerie Grey, takes you on an exhilarating journey. When Grey uncovers the corrupt scheme she quickly learns that she is dealing with a group of ruthless criminals who will stop at nothing to prevent her from airing her story. The deeper she probes, the deeper the roots of corruption seem to have grown. Soon it becomes evident that Grey and her assistant can trust no one.

Nonstop action, devastation and brutality run concurrent with altruism and romance in this thriller making it an energetic and exhilarating read. Mr. Donelson, thank you for opening this reader’s eyes to the horrors of the Congo. I was moved by this novel’s ability to teach as well as thoroughly entertain. Bravo.

Michael Balkind
Author of Sudden Death & Dead Ball. ( )
  MichaelBalkind | Jun 11, 2009 |
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Heart of Diamonds is a romantic thriller about blood diamonds in the Congo. The high-concept plot features an American televangelist, the President of the Congo, and the White House in a diamond smuggling scheme that leads to U.S. military involvement in the Congo’s civil war. When TV reporter Valerie Grey (the heroine) uncovers the conspiracy, an array of powerful forces—a ruthless mercenary, the Congolese army, and cold-blooded agents sent by the White House—try to stop her before she can expose it to the world. Heart of Diamonds also has a big romantic love triangle that feeds an important subplot.
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Dave Donelson is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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