Book Review – BLOODLAND by Alan Glynn

BLOODLAND by Alan Glynn

Picador 2012

In Alan Glynn’s latest novel, he shows us a glimpse into the world of power bartering and modern politics packed in a thrill-a-minute plot.  Glynn is probably most known for the book LIMITLESS, which was recently turned into a movie starring Bradley Cooper.  This book, while equally thrilling, follows a more real scenario, which makes it far more chilling and palpable.

I have a hard time explaining details of the plot without giving too much away.  From the moment you are dropped into the story, every detail eventually plays out with stunning relevance in the explosive finish.  As the reader walks with the characters, more and more details are gleaned from conversations and interactions with other people, until a picture of a global conspiracy that is both immense and frightening begins to form.

The book interweaves several different story lines, from an actress dying in a mysterious accident, to a struggling writer investigating a book, to a senator’s bid for power, into one cohesive and frightening tale that will keep you reading well into the night.  In the beginning, they seem so disparate, you wonder how the author can possibly tie them all together.  But as the pieces fall into place, the plot races to its inexorable and horrific finish, tying all the loose ends up in a masterful final stroke.

Glynn paints a bleak and terrifying picture of modern politics and economics where everyone is expendable and all that matters is the bottom line.  Power brokers set one another up to higher and higher positions, while viewing all others as “collateral damage.”  Glynn builds a conspiracy so realistic and beautifully complex that you can easily envision actual politicians and corporate heads in the roles the characters embody.

Others have compared Glynn to John le Carre and I can easily see why.  Rarely have I read an author so adept at keeping a reader entertained while making them think deeply about the world around them.  If you are looking for a modern book as a follow up to the movie Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy, don’t let this one pass you by.

-Bryan VanMeter

Bryan is a lifelong reader and it is genetic, his whole family reads and they all love crime fiction