24 December 2011

Review: WINTERLAND, Alan Glynn

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 626 KB
  • Print Length: 318 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312539223
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber Ltd (November 5, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • Source: I bought it
Product description (Amazon)

The worlds of business, politics and crime collide in contemporary Dublin when two men with the same name, from the same family, die on the same night - one death is a gangland murder, the other, apparently, a road accident. Was it a coincidence? That's the official version of events.

But when a family member, Gina Rafferty, starts asking questions, this notion quickly unravels. Devastated by her loss, Gina's grief is tempered, and increasingly fuelled, by anger - because the more she hears that it was all a coincidence, that gangland violence is commonplace, that people die on our roads every day of the week, the less she's prepared to accept it. Told repeatedly that she should stop asking questions, Gina becomes more determined than ever to find out the truth, to establish a connection between the two deaths - but in doing so she embarks on a path that will push certain powerful people to their limits...

My take
Dublin docklands

There is a very contemporary feel to WINTERLAND enhanced for me by a flying visit we made to Dublin in the middle of this year. On the first day of our tour we were taken to the regenerated docklands, the setting of this book.

Knowing something of Ireland's descent into the economic dumps added to understanding too.

The Richmond Centre, a new multi-storey building on the docklands will be a sign to the world that Ireland has beaten off its economic woes, and will also bring with it a great partnership with a wealthy American corporation. So there are lots of hopes riding on it, not the least those of Larry Bolger, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, hoping to rise to Taoiseach, the Prime Minister of Ireland. He hasn't always been squeaky clean so it is very important to him that nothing blots his copybook now. However one of his close associates, Paddy Norton, solves most problems by outsourcing the solutions to a "security" firm. Paddy Norton has a long standing interest in the completion of the Richmond Centre, so nothing must get in the way,

But Larry Bolger only entered politics when his brother was killed in a car accident twenty five years earlier, the same crash that took the lives of Mark Griffin's parents and sister. Mark has never thought about whether it really was an accident, not until Gina Rafferty, raw from the recent death of her brother in a similar accident, suggests it might have been otherwise.

Alan Glynn has an interesting style in WINTERLAND, moving seamlessly from present to past tense. It seemed to me that most of the novel was written in the present tense, with past tense being used for reflection.

WINTERLAND is a great page turner. I read it to complete my final book for the Ireland Reading Challenge

My rating: 4.7

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