Everyone knows that in August of 2005, a Category 5 Hurricane ravaged much of Louisiana. We all watched in horror as the levees broke and one of America’s most beloved cities ceased to exist as we knew it. Hundreds of years of history was under over 10 feet of water. We all watched in a state of shock as people were airlifted from the roofs of their homes, and the Superdome began to tear apart, endangering the thousands of people trapped inside it. Stories of looting and fires and violence spread, and an astounding number of Louisiana residents lost everything. All of America watched, feeling helpless and frustrated that our government wasn’t stepping in quickly enough to provide aide to those who desperately needed it.
In Wilson Smith’s book Blood In The Water, he weaves a tale of corruption, greed, and wolves in sheep’s clothing that found ways to profit from tragedy. The thing about Smith’s book, is that he tells the story so well that by the end of the book you find yourself believing that much of what he wrote could have happened. Smith, a mortgage broker and Louisiana resident himself, writes from a place of great knowledge of the subject. Many to this day believe that much of what happened in the days post Katrina was a political conspiracy, meant to drive out the poorest residents. The book explores that subject with such compelling detail, that it truly makes you wonder if the conspiracy theorists were onto something. Although it is a work of fiction and the characters are not based on real people, it reads as if it is a true account of how one man became so deeply entangled in a web of lust, deceit, greed, and lies that he is unable to escape unscathed.
The main character, Andrew Savoie, is thrilled when he gets hired as a mortgage broker by Jerry Bisantz, the co-owner of A&B Mortgage. Soon after he begins his job, he meets Virginia Bard, the wife of a very successful and wealthy real estate mogul. The two begin to have an affair, and Andrew begins to enjoy the perks he receives from being the boy toy of such a wealthy and influential woman. As things begin to heat up between the two, and Andrew is rapidly climbing the corporate ladder, disaster strikes the city of New Orleans in the form of the largest hurricane to ever hit an American city. As the flood water recedes and the government officials make deals with corporations to rebuild what has been destroyed, Andrew becomes aware of shady dealings among the company he works for and real estate company Virginia’s husband owns. He becomes increasingly suspicious of those around him and as he digs deeper he becomes more and more troubled by the information he finds. Unable to sit idly by, he digs himself into a hole he may never be able to get out of.
I implore you to read this book. It’s captivating, brilliantly written, and truly makes you question what we were told about Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath.
You can purchase it here. I hope you read it and enjoy it as much as I did.