Glynn, Alan - 'Bloodland'
Jimmy Gilroy, a unemployed journalist following the collapse of the newspaper he worked for, is scratching a living in these desperate times in Dublin. He grabs a lifeline when he is offered the opportunity of writing the biography of a tabloid star who was tragically killed in a helicopter crash at the peak of her fame. He starts researching and generally checking out sources to prepare for the book but is surprised when a one time close contact who learns of his new job is not supportive but rather tries to persuade him to drop it. This former colleague talks him into helping a former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) instead, to write his memoirs, but when Jimmy calls on the ex-prime minister to discuss the new post with him he finds him very inebriated. In this drunken state the ex-prime minister tactlessly, says something indiscreet about the deceased tabloid star and the circumstances of her death which sets Jimmy off in a new direction completely and to get background on the sensational lead he has been given, he is obliged to journey to Italy and then to New York. In a separate strand to this multi-layered story, problems in the Congo feature.
The story is indicative of our times including suspected complicity between large multi-national companies, corrupt financial dealing and billionaires thinking they are above the rule of law. It is a thrilling, well-plotted story reaching into the depths of humanity in several countries and coming to a breathtaking but unpredictable conclusion.
BLOODLAND is an absolute sensational read, which after a slow start was incredibly tense and I did not want it to end; the last 100 pages of this novel just flew by. This is an author I was unfamiliar with before but he has two other titles to his credit including the one that resulted in the film Limitless starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro which was released in Spring 2011. I will certainly look out for his earlier titles and for his future books as his already excellent writing skills, should only get better. I highly recommend this book which was one of the best I've read this year.
Terry Halligan, England