4 February 2014

Review: BLOODLAND, Alan Glynn

  • Format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 639 KB
  • Print Length: 382 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312621280
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber Crime (September 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GDZJ7U
  • Source: I bought it
Synopsis (Amazon)

A tabloid star is killed in a helicopter crash and three years later a young journalist is warned off the story.

A private security contractor loses it in the Congo, with deadly consequences.

In Ireland an ex-prime minister struggles to contain a dark secret from his time in office.

A dramatic news story breaks in Paris just as a US senator begins his campaign to run for office.

With echoes of John Le Carre, 24 and James Ellroy, Alan Glynn's follow-up to Winterland is another crime novel of and for our times -- a ferocious, paranoid thriller that moves from Dublin to New York via Central Africa, and thrillingly explores the legacy of corruption in big business, the West's fear of China, the role of back room political players and the question of who controls what we know.

My take

When out of work journalist Jim Gilroy is approached to write a biography of dead model Susie Monaghan strange things begin to happen. Gilroy was caught up some time earlier by the downsizing of Ireland's press industry, lost his job, and this is his first chance to earn for some time. So when he is contacted by a former mentor and advised to drop the job, he can't help wondering why. 

Then a drunken former prime minister tells him that "it was never about Susie. She was just collateral damage." So, Gilroy asks himself, who is it "it" really about? And what exactly is "it"? Threads begin to converge as Gilroy persists.

This was a very tight read. The style is a little disconcerting as the narrative changes point-of-view rather abruptly and I found myself searching the text for clues to whose voice it was. There was a similar situation with settings as we bounce from Dublin to London to Paris, New York, Washington, and The Congo.

The blurb is right: this is about corruption in high places, and in big business, but it is also about the subtleties of economic multinationalism, and the webs that connect us all wherever we live.

My rating: 4.6

I have also reviewed WINTERLAND

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