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3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  275 ratings  ·  50 reviews
The worlds of business, Irish politics, and crime collide when two men with the same name, from the same family, die on the same night—one death is a gangland murder, the other, apparently, a road accident. Was it a coincidence? That’s the official version of events. But when a family member, Gina Rafferty, starts asking questions, this notion quickly unravels. Told repeat...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Picador (first published January 1st 2009)
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Shullamuth Ballinger
The most delicious part of Winterland is the way the characters are managed and developed. Both Gina, the order loving protagonist, and Paddy, the pill-popping antagonist, are mercilessly unraveled, strung out by their obsessions. Glynn evokes a relationship between Gina and Mark, the somewhat deranged survivor of childhood tragedy, so intimate it transcends sex or even proximity since they only meet once, briefly over coffee, and still manage to save each other's lives.

My only complaint is tha...more
Two men with the same first name, Noel die on the same night. Is this just a bizarre coincidence or is there some connection to these two men’s deaths? Both men died in different ways.

The first was Noel Rafferty, who was part of a Dublin gang. He was known as “Grassy Noel” because he enjoyed partaking in smoking marijuana over hash. Grassy Noel was one of the top lieutenants in the gang.

The other Noel was also from the Rafferty family. He was the older Mr. Rafferty. His death was being ruled a...more
Great book. I really cared about the characters enough to be kind of sad when it ended....I am still debating in my mind if I like how the "bad guy" died in the end. the story was current and I liked how the author connected all the pieces. and I liked the background info the author provided, very detailed but it tied it all together.
Christine Blachford
Having really enjoyed the book behind the film Limitless, I was interested in what else Alan Glynn had written. This one takes the form of a sort of action/thriller, a crime novel that doesn't really focus on investigating the crime itself, but unravelling an entire conspiracy surrounding a new building complex, politics, and all that jazz.

I really liked it, the cast of characters were believable and relatable, and even the horrible ones had their foibles that made them more human. What I enjoye...more
Anouilh M Buckley

"Winterland", by Alan Glynn

Mr Glynn very kindly sent me a synopsis of his book, which is categorised as a literary thriller
with noir over and under tones,
rather than as a gritty crime novel.

"It has elements of the crime thriller in it, but I wrote it simply as a novel.
The main character in the book is a young woman, Gina Rafferty, who refuses to be lied to.

Two deaths occur in her family on the same night and she refuses to accept that it was a coincidence.

Her pursuit of an honest answer leads he...more
Rob Kitchin
In Winterland Alan Glynn manages to intertwine two criminal cultures of Ireland – the gangland underworld and the boardrooms of corrupt developers and political cronies. It’s a searing social commentary on Irish life, full of keen observational insight and emotional depth. Glynn writes with deceptively engaging prose, appearing quite ordinary but actually well layered and lyrical. The principal characters are all nicely developed, with full contextual back stories. The plot was well structured a...more
If this book had been 200 pages shorter it would have been very much better. However, a pretty ordinary story with an ending that was completely predictable was stretched out over almost 500 pages and that was far too long; the plot just could not support a book of that length.

The main character was, at first, quite interesting and I found myself caring what happened to her. However once she turned into some sort of action woman; shooting, kicking, taking hostages, she lost most of her credibil...more
Soham Chakraborty
I picked up this title because I was thoroughly impressed with the writing of Alan Glynn in Limitless. And this book also orchestrates the same fluent, reader-captivating persona that Glynn's talent is.

Winterland is a crime thriller which takes place in the idyllic town of Dublin in Ireland. Irish city and it's landmarks are vivid in description. The story is short spanned, happens within a period of three weeks. And in these three weeks, the life of Gina Rafferty spirals in, recoils out and she...more
There is a distinct correlation between Alan Glynn's 'Winterland' and Dennis Lehane's 'Mystic River' insomuch as they are touted as noir masterpieces, the forefront of the new wave so to speak, with each respective novel thrusting the author into stardom and instant industry respect. Having now read both, I can draw the comparisons and conclude they are alike in terms of plot pace and deep seeded character development. Personally I like my noir boiling over the pan, whereas Glynn (like Lehane's...more
This book managed to be simultaneously unexpected and logical, which made for a very enjoyable read.

I tend to get cranky with average-person-solves-a-mystery plots, because the protagonists do such stupid things. Stupid things like running toward gunshots. Stupid things like refusing to listen to the police and other authorities. Stupid things like going to a confrontation without letting anyone know where they will be.

Winterland's protagonist does try to solve a mystery that no one else notic...more
I could not read this book fast enough. I mean, the reading experience was like watching a thriller in slow motion – which, while mildly frustrating, is not at all a bad quality in a book. The super-short paragraphs really move you through the prose.

My only gripe is that I didn’t feel like I knew anything about protagonist Gina Rafferty. The other characters were vivid and real – even minor ones like Christy, whom Glynn gives all of 10 pages to come to life. I think we don’t get to know enough a...more
Sam Reaves
Ireland has had a roller-coaster ride over the past decade or two, and it doesn't look much like the sentimentalized Emerald Isle a lot of Yanks hold dear. Alan Glynn writes about a very contemporary Ireland with financial wizards and gangsters all making a killing in various senses of the phrase. Gina Rafferty's nephew and brother, both named Noel, die violently within hours of each other; she seems to be the only one who finds this coincidence suspicious. Asking questions leads her to a Dublin...more
Miles Hodsdon
Mixed feelings. On the one hand I liked Glynn's character development, but this was outweighed by convenient and mediocre written interactions and events. Definitely enjoyed and sped through it, but found little to reflect and ponder on.
Nikki Mohamed
HOLY GUACAMOLE! This was an amazing book. It didn't stop moving from the first page. I love the Irish politics meets murder and greed meets conspiracy theory. HIGHLY recommend.
Michael Maloney
A fantastic fast-paced read. The opening scene in the smoking area outside the pub is amazing.
What amazed me most about this book is how fast-paced it feels. It's long, but there's so much tension that builds so well, I flew threw it. Especially impressive considering that the events only span a few days.

Winterland has a wide array of fascinating characters. Especially recommended for folks who like a bit of political intrigue in their crime fiction. The depictions of modern Ireland and its government were fascinating. The subject matter and political bent reminded me a lot of In This Ra...more
Jim Coughenour
Better-than-average crime novel set in present Dublin (with only a minor nod toward Joyce – things come together, or fall apart, by the Martello tower where Ulysses begins). The writing is good, the characters shape up quickly. The plot, though solid, winds up being less interesting than the sum of its elements. Glynn's technique of developing the story through the eyes of several characters at once sets his book a few notches above the typical crime novel, but ultimately dilutes its power. By t...more
Ronan Lyons
A great little 'howcatchem' (in the style of Columbo, rather than a whodunnit), set in Ireland just as the boom is turning to bust. With corrupt politicians, developers etc, reading it by coincidence the week of the Anglo Irish tapes story made the uncertain days of 2008-2009 all the more vivid! I loved the hook of the two Noels, which really sets up the entire story. While the book is probably a bit long and the ending a smidgin disappointing, that doesn't really take away from what the book of...more
Robin Jonathan Deutsch
So much promise. Didn't deliver. There's a reason for this: The book is about 150 pages too long. After a while, the story just dragged on, like Glynn was on a word count. There was some fine passages for sure, but parts were rather dull and tedious. Took away from a rather strong concept and plot. Winterland needed an infusion of energy, I struggled to reach a conclusion that was generally made known from the outset. Not sure I'd give this high marks for suspense. I would give it high marks for...more
what Val McDermid said...
This book was excellent and was hard to put down until the final pages. The writing carried you along from character to character without losing any of the plot. Gina was determined to find out the truth of her brother's and nephew's deaths and thought both were connected since both had the same name. She was right in this but was wrong in her original assumption regarding the responsible person.
Jay Ray
Great read...I love Alan's complex characters. I just wish the ending was a bit more realistic. I mean, I get it, it's fiction...I know, but he sets the story up so eerily realistic I was hoping he would have wrapped it up on the same got a bit loose towards the end! Having said that, I am looking forward to reading Bloodland & Graveland. I would recommend...good stuff!
I chose to read this after watching the film of Glynn's book The Dark Fields which has marvellous plotting. This book too would be very filmable, but I hope the setting would remain in Dublin. It doesn't have such an endearing protagonist as in Dark Fields, but it is a good example of the genre - Irish noir - in the same company as Adrian McKinty and Declan Hughes.
I really wanted to like this more than I did but I realized at about halfway through the book, the main character was just getting started on her vengeance filled quest. I am really picky about my thriller/adrenaline novels. I want the action to start two pages in and not let up until the very end and this one didn't quite do it for me.
I really wanted to like this more than I did but I realized at about halfway through the book, the main character was just getting started on her vengeance filled quest. I am really picky about my thriller/adrenaline novels. I want the action to start two pages in and not let up until the very end and this one didn't quite do it for me.
Not a highly memorable book, but a decent read.

2 people die with the same name and no one really suspects it an issue (one in a bar, gangland style and another in a car accident). Gina Rafferty, a relative to both, won't let it go. There are a few plot twists and multiple story lines that eventually all tie together.
J.J. Toner
As a full-time writer myself, now, I can't just pick up a book and enjoy it. This one had good original voice and some pleasing prose, but why, oh why was the whole book written in the present tense? There are very, very few stories that can support the present tense for 300-400 pages. This is not one of them.
I did not like this book at all, in fact I only read ~70% of it. The writing style in the beginning was jarringly bad, but even once it got better the characters were pretty weak. On one level the story is a detective novel, but you know from the beginning basically who killed whom and why. Stay away.
Though not as engrossing as his first novel (The Dark Fields- aka -Limitless), This was still a fun little page turner. Two closely linked men, with the same first names, are killed on the same night. A coincydink? The sister of one of the dead men thinks not! Let the fun begin...:)
I really loved this romp through a fun mystery. Discovering the dark secrets on my own was fun. Plus, after seeing Limitless, when I was applauding with pure joy during the movie, I wanted to read something by Alan Glynn - and this was not as delightful but still very fun.
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"Winterland" Published 2 10 Jan 18, 2011 05:44AM  
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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...
The Dark Fields Bloodland Graveland Limitless Winterland

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