Ireland · review

Bloodland by Alan Glynn

Bloodland by Alan Glynn

Picador

Publication date:  January 31, 2012

Source:  Publisher via NetGalley

Bloodland is a conspiracy thriller that starts in Ireland with young unemployed journalist Jimmy Gilroy investigating a three-year-old helicopter crash off the Donegal coast which killed tabloid and reality television star Susie Monaghan and five other people.  The action also jumps to New York City and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, among other locations.  The changes in setting aren’t as difficult to get used to as the large cast of characters, whose connections aren’t clear until well into the first section of the book. It’s a bit disorienting, and I think it’s intentionally so we as readers are in the same position as the investigative journalist who is writing Susie Monaghan’s biography.

Bloodland is the story of powerful men:  politicians, public relations executives, or uber-capitalists.  It’s about the drive to succeed and amass more and more power and money at the expense of others, be they family members or young miners in the Congo. Finding out what drives the cutthroat characters that populate this book is the most entertaining part of the ride.  The characterizations felt believable even though the villains were truly all-around evil.

Finally, the greatest pleasure of the book was the pacing of the action and the revelations about the central conspiracy.  Once I got over the initial hump of wondering what the disparate story lines and settings had to do with each other, I marched right through the book.

For other reviews, see Petrona and Reviewing the Evidence.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Bloodland by Alan Glynn

  1. Very nice review (and thanks for the link to mine!). I really liked this book, I think anyone who intends to write an international conspiracy thriller ought to read it first. Most books on this topic are just so predictable from about page 25. As you so perceptively point out, this book manages to keep the reader guessing, via the changes in perspective. I liked the way the book was not about what one thought it was going to be about at first.

    1. Thanks, Maxine. I thought the pacing was very good, and I’m impressed that the characters didn’t feel cartoon-ish to me. I haven’t read many international conspiracy thrillers, but most of the ones I have read were not that great.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s