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.