Blood Land, By Alan Glynn
Intercontinental ballistic missive
Sunday 29 April 2012
As you start to read this thriller you're presented with a series of short, gripping but apparently unrelated scenes featuring a bunch of characters who as yet know nothing of each other.
Jimmy Gilroy is a struggling young journalist who's been given the chance to write the biography of an Irish TV starlet who died in a helicopter crash; Larry Bolger is a disgruntled ex-Taoiseach who believes that men in high places owe him favours; Dave Conway is a property developer on the verge of bankruptcy; Ray Kroner is a mercenary who goes postal in the Congo; JJ Rundle is a US senator who decides to run for President. Gradually, inexorably, these stories converge. Nasty things get nastier; long-buried crimes bubble to the surface.
Glynn's style is economical, efficient and evocative. The plot spans three continents, with every setting lightly but convincingly rendered; while each section is written so thoroughly through its central character that you feel you're living their life for them.
Most of all, one gets a disturbing sense of what rough old games politics and industry are. None of these characters, with the exception of the sympathetic and idealistic Gilroy, are people you'd want to mess with.
It would be an exaggeration to say that I couldn't put Blood Land down, but it's certainly true that when I did, I was eager to pick it up again. It is a wonderfully readable and intelligent thriller, bracingly cynical but with its heart in the right place.
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Avengers: Age of Ultron set to make box office history with $84.5m US opening
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
Red Dwarf returns: Craig Charles quits Coronation Street to return to comedy sci-fi series
New on Netflix UK May 2015: From Fast & Furious 6 to World War Z and Grace and Frankie
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds