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Heart of Diamonds: A Novel of Scandal, Love, and Death in the Congo Paperback – Import, 29 Dec 2009
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About the Author
Dave Donelson's world-roving career as a broadcaster and journalist is reflected in assignments for dozens of national magazines and newspapers. In addition to Heart Of Diamonds, he is the author of Creative Selling and Hunting Elf.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
However, the events in the story are very realistic to the problems in the Congo and much of eastern Africa. What I liked about it was that that the story was a suspenseful, page-turner which reads like a modern action-movie like "Blood Diamonds," and it will, I hope, bring awareness to the problems in the Congo. My fear is that it will alienate many conservatives and evangelicals who will find the portrayal of the politicians and pastors to be quite extreme. Not that I doubt that such scams exist, I just wish all the characters were more dynamic and less stereotypical.
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 Mr. Donelson!
My only complaint is this is another story of white people set in Africa. It would be more compelling were the main protagonists African, perhaps wealthy sons and daughters of the elite sent to the US for college who return to do exactly what Valerie and Jamie do in this story. This is a small quibble, however, Donelson can write best from a perspective that he truly understands and his readers are mostly westerners who can better relate to the characters than if they were Africans.
You should read this book for a great story, but also to get some understanding and realization of the terrible conditions that prevail in West Africa today.
Probably one of the most positive aspects of the book was Donelson's realistic portrayal of the main characters and the warlike conditions in Africa. From the very beginning, it was difficult to stomach such horrid conditions. Suffering and death are part of a war-torn country. The citizens continue on and Donelson's depicts their lives in such graphic detail. He does so without bogging down the story.
My only gripe was the ending. The diamond scheme was resolved, but I felt no closure for Valerie. After the last sentence of the book, I was like "And?" At the very least, I would have loved to see an epilogue.