The Colour of Blood

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The Colour of Blood
First UK edition
Author Brian Moore
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre political thriller
Publisher Jonathan Cape (UK)
McClelland & Stewart (Canada)
Dutton (US)
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 182
ISBN ISBN 0-224-02513-9
ISBN 978-0-224-02513-3
OCLC 18192603
Preceded by Black Robe (1985)
Followed by Lies of Silence (1990)

The Colour of Blood, published in 1987, is a political thriller by Northern Irish-Canadian novelist Brian Moore about Stephen Bem, a Cardinal in an unnamed East European country who is in conflict with the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy[1] and finds himself caught in the middle of an escalating revolution.

According to critic Jo O'Donoghue, The Colour of Blood was the first novel since his early works set in Belfast in the 1950s in which Moore dealt with the Catholic Church as a contemporary institution: "The problem confronted in The Colour of Blood is how the Church is to live in tandem with the secular authority".[2]

In her biography of Moore, Patricia Craig describes The Colour of Blood as an outcry against extremism, "with fanatical Catholicism presented as a destructive force. At the same time the Cardinal himself stands for another kind of Catholicism: moderate and incorruptible, and not unaccommodating of theological uncertainties".[3]


It won the Sunday Express Book of the Year award in 1987 and was also nominated for the Booker Prize.[4]


  1. ^ "Brian Moore, 1921-99: Cool prose craftsman". Socialism Today (36). March 1999. 
  2. ^ Jo O'Donoghue (1991). Brian Moore: a critical study. McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 220. ISBN 0-7735-0850-3. 
  3. ^ Patricia Craig (2002). Brian Moore: A Biography. Bloomsbury. p. 246. ISBN 0 7475 6844 8. 
  4. ^ "The Colour of Blood". The Man Booker Prizes. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 

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