Rob Kitchin's Reviews > Winterland

Winterland by Alan Glynn
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May 07, 2012

it was amazing
Read in August, 2011

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 and despite the story being framed as a thriller that links a disparate set of characters it is very believable. One of the things I found quite fascinating is that Winterland is not a whodunit or even a howdunnit. The reader knows pretty much from the start who did the killings, why and how. They also know the answers to the secondary story. And yet, Glynn manages to maintain and ratchet up the tension throughout. It was an interesting approach and worked surprisingly well. The story is slightly flabby in places and could have done with a little tightening, and the ending felt a tad weak even though it had nice symmetry, but these are minor issues. Overall, a very entertaining read that provides real insight into twenty first century Ireland.
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