By Alan Glynn
Picador, 16.00, 364 pages
When out-of-work journalist Jimmy Gilroy agrees to write the biography of the B-list celebrity who died three years before in an accident, he didn’t realize he’d be dragged into a conspiracy spanning three continents. Meanwhile, the former prime minister of Ireland, a recovering alcoholic supposedly writing his memoirs, falls off the wagon when he sees a news report about a skeleton found in the woods. In the U.S.A., a high-powered businessman waits to hear of his senator (and future U.S. presidential candidate) brother’s ill-fated trip to the Sudan.
“I’m no editor but . . .Susie Monaghan? Give me a break. Tell me it’s not the prospect of the last chapter they’re drolling over.”
Jimmy is taken aback by this–celebrity drool, as he remembers it, always having been something of a Phil Sweeney specialty.
In the first chapter of Bloodland, the sheer number of characters to remember is daunting. Over time, it’s easier to differentiate the characters and eventually, after many twists and turns, pull the plot threads together to discover how the story lines fit. Flawed characters set in the backdrop of the Great Recession combine with a nonformulaic story to make a fun read for fans of conspiracy theories and intelligent thrillers. If you loved Alan Glynn’s novel Winterland, you will want to pick up this novel.
Reviewed by Kelly Garrett