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3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  445 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
A private security contractor loses it in the Congo, with deadly consequences, while in Ireland the ex-prime minister struggles to write his memoir. A tabloid star is killed in a helicopter crash and three years later a young journalist is warned off the story. As a news story breaks in Paris, a US senator prepares his campaign to run for office. What links these things an ...more
Paperback, 417 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Faber and Faber (first published January 1st 2011)
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Best Irish Literature
353rd out of 439 books — 531 voters
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Kirkus Best Fiction of 2012
70th out of 100 books — 66 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,046)
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Nov 03, 2014 Sharon rated it really liked it
Alan Glynn's "Bloodland" opens with background about a fatal plane crash that killed the world renowned Susie Monaghan and four others. After a great deal of investigation, Monaghan's death was ruled to be an accident, and the entire case was regarded as simply just another tragic helicopter crash. However, a young journalist named Jimmy Gilroy decides that he believes there is more to Monaghan's death, and takes on the task of doing more research to try and find out what really happened. His in ...more
David Graham
Mar 14, 2014 David Graham rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book immensely.

I loved how the seemingly disparate storylines all came together. One thread deals with an out-work reporter, Jimmy Vaughan who has just been commissioned to do a biography on a C-list celebrity actress who had been killed a few years earlier in a helicopter crash. There’s also a retired politician railing against his irrelevance and worried about a terrible secret, an almost bankrupt post-recession Irish property developer and a powerful US chief of industry under
Apr 18, 2011 Karina rated it it was amazing
A really well written thriller which explores the web of corruption and murder that ties together a warlord in the Congo, shady businessmen in New York, and corrupt Irish politicans in hock to dodgy developers post boom. It zips along from one character to the next, yet never loses focus on the main plot - a really gripping book!
Rob Kitchin
May 07, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it really liked it
Bloodland is a political thriller. It’s connected to Glynn’s last novel, Winterland, by a couple of characters – Larry Bolger and James Vaughan, a businessman who also pulls political strings at the highest levels in the US administration. The story is ambitious in its scope, connecting together characters, business deals and incidents on three continents – Congo, Ireland, UK, Italy and the US. The focus on resource extraction, the new scramble for Africa, business and political corruption, and ...more
Richard Gazala
Feb 01, 2012 Richard Gazala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can something as mundane as a hand accidentally slammed in a car door derail an eminent United States senator's promising presidential prospects? In Alan Glynn's new international thriller, "Bloodland," it might do so just as readily as the mysterious helicopter crash off Ireland's coast years earlier that killed a coked-up young Hollywood trollop at the peak of her notoriety. Without a steady job in hand or on the horizon, young journalist Jimmy Gilroy reluctantly finds himself freelancing on s ...more
Benjamin Thomas
I had not yet read any of the author's previous work so was excited to see if I now had a "new" author to follow. I've read numerous "thriller" novels, no matter how you define that term, and have long been wary of trying new authors because there just seems to be so many that write by some perceived formula for "success". That's not always bad as I do like a good adrenaline rush as much as the next guy, as long as there are the other aspects of a good novel (like well written characterization, ...more
Christine Blachford
Feb 12, 2014 Christine Blachford rated it really liked it
This is a sequel to Winterland, or in reality, it's not so much a sequel as another story with a couple of the same characters and a few mentions of what went before. That isn't a bad thing though, it's perfect for anyone that didn't read Winterland, and as someone who has, it's nice to get those little nods towards the events in the previous book.

Bloodland very much stands up in its own right, though, a conspiracy that winds itself tighter and tighter, with a young journalist doing his best to
Dec 03, 2013 Susen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. The book has a slightly slow start because there are so many 'players' being introduced.
After the pieces begin to fall together and you think you know how it will all end, the story takes an abrupt turn and spins in an unexpected direction.
The narration was excellent.
A bit of a sequel to Winterland, a top-notch thriller that very effectively expands the scale of his Irish noir tales from corporate/criminal chicanery in Dublin to Dublin, Manhattan and the Congo. Which may sound like the Random Setting Grab Bag but is handled very effectively.
Jan 15, 2012 Celeste rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub
I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened, but essentially it is the book equivalent of TV or a blockbuster action film. I can't help but imagine Ireland's Nobel laureates rolling in their graves at the "Great Irish novel" quote on the cover.
Aug 31, 2012 Lynn rated it it was ok
Just "ok". This would make a better movie than a book. Too many players were introduced in the first 50 pages. It wasn't a very suspenseful story.
Minka Guides
Jul 20, 2011 Minka Guides rated it really liked it
A semi-sequel to WINTERLAND but much more engaging than the first book.
Nicholas Miller
Apr 22, 2016 Nicholas Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tree-books
I found this gem at a music store that sells books too. It wasn't that expensive so I thought that I would give it a chance. Boy, was I glad I did.

The opening chapter grabs you for the ride. We are introduced to a convoy of ex-military who work for the private sector. They are escorting a "package" to an airstrip so said "package" could return home. Of course, things don't go as planned and what happens next isn't pretty.

We pick up around the same time or so in Ireland with a journalist named
Tess Mertens-Johnson
Sep 01, 2012 Tess Mertens-Johnson rated it it was amazing
WOW - This book was non stop action - Loved it!
Out of work journalist Jimmy Gilroy picks up a job writing the biography of a popular reality TV star killed in a helicopter crash. He gets a call from his late father's former business partner, Phil Sweeney, who tries to discourage him from writing the book. Sweeney and Gilroy's father ran a PR firm together, and Jimmy can't understand why Phil, who still works with big name clients, would be concerned about a relatively unimportant person such as
Susan Tunis
Mar 22, 2012 Susan Tunis rated it it was amazing
The connections beneath the surface

In a marketplace filled with legal thrillers, techno-thrillers, and crime thrillers galore, a true conspiracy thriller is a rare animal indeed. This one opens with some sort of paramilitary operation in Congo. The reader is thrown into a heightened situation without any exposition or background, and it’s a little disorientating.

From there, we are in the study of a young, Irish journalist, Jimmy Gilroy. These are hard times for journalists. Papers aren’t hiring
Jan 12, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you’re a fan of ‘70’s-style paranoid thrillers like the Parallax View or The French Connection—average man caught up in forces greater in scope and influence than he can imagine; shadowy conspiracies with machinations at the intersection of business and government—then you will enjoy Alan Glynn’s Bloodland.

An effective, timely and fast-moving thriller, Bloodland entertainingly weaves together many of the greatest current social, economic and geopolitical factors—e.g., the Chinese Industrial
Mary Manahan
May 08, 2013 Mary Manahan rated it really liked it
After a slow start, this book became unputdownable. Called Audible to have kindle version whispersynced to droid....a new feature I will take advantage of with next book, John Le Carre's "A Delicate Truth". Ironically, "Bloodland" reminded me of Carre. Glynn careens from the coast of Donegal to the Congo to Paris to London to New York so fast you get reader whiplash. And many of the main characters - heads of international corporations and politicians are so amoral and greedy, they make Monsanto ...more
Jul 25, 2013 Seana rated it it was amazing
The basic idea of the story is that Jimmy Gilroy, a talented but unemployed young reporter who's lost his job in the moribund newspaper industry, has landed a little gig writing a combination bio and exposé of a scandal ridden celebrity, including her tragic death in a helicopter crash. Unwittingly, by taking the assignment, he has just pulled the small thread by which a very large web is going to unravel. His first glimpse of this result is when he's called by Phil Sweeney, an old friend of his ...more
Ann Collette
Mar 05, 2012 Ann Collette rated it it was amazing
Laid off from his newspaper job, journalist Jimmy Gilroy is glad to pick up work of any kind, even if it's as trivial as writing the biography of a popular reality TV star killed in a helicopter crash. But he's puzzled when he gets a call from his late father's former business partner, Phil Sweeney, who tries to discourage him from writing the book. Sweeney and Gilroy's father ran a PR firm together, and Jimmy can't understand why Phil, who still works with big name clients, would be concerned a ...more
Michael Griswold
Dec 13, 2012 Michael Griswold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bloodland by Alan Glynn is a first rate political thriller for modern times.

Everything a fan of political thrillers could possibly want is here. The stream of consciousness approach taken by Glynn may disorient the reader at first, but I feel that it provides a unique window into the minds and thought patterns of the character involved in each section that really brings the action of the novel to life and keeps the reader wanting to turn the page. The story in itself is compelling because of how
Nicole R
Wow! This was a non-stop conspiracy thrill ride from start to finish! I have to admit that intricate plots with lots of interconnected details are often not my cup of tea. Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum often give me a headache and leave me Googling the connection that I obviously missed. However, I wanted something more than the typical summer novel laden with descriptions of violent hand-to-hand combat and out-of-breath chase scenes that fill the gaps between the semblance of a plot line. Bloodl ...more
Jun 07, 2014 Janebbooks rated it really liked it
"An interesting and timely piece of globilization noir..."

Alan Glynn's third novel BLOODLAND won the 2011 Irish Book Award in the Crime Fiction category and is, according to a LOS ANGELES TIMES reviewer, "an interesting and timely piece of globilization noir" with an ensemble cast of characters from three continents. At the heart of the story is an out-of-work Dublin journalist named Jimmy Gilroy who has just picked up a fluff assignment of writing a biography of a soap opera star who died in a
Dec 30, 2011 Jacqui rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-mystery
British author Alan Glynn's third thriller "Bloodland" (Picador 2011) is about a rising star who's death captures the imaginzation of the nation (if not the world). The fun begins when struggling journalist Jimmy Gilroy is asked by a publisher to write her story. He is warned off by people he respects which makes him dig into her death to find out why powerful people would want her story stopped.

What he finds is a vast conspiracy that almost destroys him.

The most appealing part of what might oth
Feb 05, 2013 EinsteinShrugged rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is not the kind of book I'd normally read and if it hadn't been for the fact that I absolutely LOVED 'The Dark Fields' I probably never would have given Bloodland a second thought. Having said that, Alan Glyn rocks the house and makes this story of a washed up train wreck of a celebrity involved in political and corporate sabotage and, ultimately, murder immensely readable, if a bit hard to follow in places. But I think the trouble in following the rather complicated storyline lies more wit ...more
May 26, 2016 Harper rated it liked it
Good beach read. Lots of character, lots of action and interesting settings of Ireland, the east Congo and New York So much going on that the characters were not well developed and somewhat two dimensional. The plot is somewhat implausible and the ending less than satisfying. Why would you read it in the face of all this criticism? Because it's an easy fun read to enjoy at leisure. I would liken it to a pretty good made for TV movie. Not memorable but entertaining
Jun 07, 2014 Cathy rated it liked it
It seems that I am the only one who didn't get it but when it ended I was like huh? Obviously I didn't get all the characters straight and expected the book to continue but it was over. I'm giving it 3 stars because it held my interest but Jimmy Olsen, think superman, the young journalist was way too naive and innocent for me. He got on my nerves with all his golly gee stuff.

A predictable plot with the requisite violence, I still don't get it....
Jul 20, 2014 Brittany rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, thriller
This is the second book I've read that was written by Alan Glynn, and I am growing increasingly frustrated by his endings. He gets a great story going - and then stops in the middle of it, or at least before the larger ramifications of the story have really unfolded. It's not that I can't imagine how everything might end, it's that I would like to know what Glynn imagined as the ending, since it's his story in the first place.
Nov 10, 2015 Kimberly rated it it was ok
It was okay at best - I really enjoyed Limitless (the book not the movie!) so I was disappointed to not like Bloodland. I'm also not sure why the names had to be so confusing... There are two Jimmys, and two brothers are often referred to by their last name, making it take slightly more effort to keep track of who the author is talking about. I also felt like the characters weren't very well developed, and the plot seemed a little thin.
I like the concept, but the execution was just a bit well...boring. I kept hoping it would speed up just a little, but that only really happened at the very end and lasted for all of two pages. I know, I should appreciate the twisty plot with its real-world parallels. I can't help myself, I need things to be shiny or my attention wanders. And by shiny, I mean things happening besides conversation after conversation after conversation after conversation...
Having said all that, I really did like t
John Machata
May 25, 2014 John Machata rated it it was ok
Book had promise, but I felt it pandered to the papparazzi like readers of the world. Glamorous celeb dies, ex prime minister returns to the bottle. Too much glitz and bright lights for me. A surface swim.
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Alan Glynn is a graduate of Trinity College. His first novel, The Dark Fields, was released in March 2011 as the movie Limitless by Relativity Media. He is also the author of Graveland, Winterland and Bloodland, for which he won the 2011 Irish Book Award.
More about Alan Glynn...

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