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January 26, 2012 / John Sheridan

Review: Bloodland by Alan Glynn

Bloodland is the first novel I have read by Alan Glynn and was one I was looking forward to reading as it recently won the Crime Novel of the year at the 2011 Irish Book Awards. He’s also the author of “The Dark Fields” which was filmed and subsequently republished as “Limitless” (Amazon, Amazon UK).

The story starts off with a contractor from a private military corporation (akin to the former Blackwater) going “postal” in the Congo. From this one small incident an intricate conspiracy will unravel with some skilful misdirection on the part of the author keeping the reader off balance and guessing as to the potential consequences for the players involved.

One word of warning though as even though overall I really enjoyed Bloodland, it did take some time for me to warm to it initially as due to the number of characters being introduced I had problems keeping them clearly distinguished. Persistence will be rewarded though as about a quarter of the way thru the book the disparate strands start to coalesce and the level of excitement and energy ramp up considerably.

The central tenet is a grand conspiracy involving American business and political interests that happens to have had some origins on Irish soil which allows the author scope to draw in local factors such as the collapsing economy and property developers facing bankruptcy as well as the Irish political establishment but when the main players involved have high level political connections as well as access to what is essentially a private army is there anything which they won’t do to protect themselves?

A fascinating story that is well executed. It just leaves me with one problem – now I want to read his preceding novel Winterland (Amazon, Amazon UK) and I’m supposed to be reducing my TBR pile rather than increasing it!

Highly Recommended.

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