Alan Glynn’s fourth novel, Graveland, opens with the apparently random murder of a Central Park jogger. When a second man is shot dead in the street, and an attempted murder is botched in a similar attack, a pattern emerges: the targets are Wall Street high-flyers, representatives of the self-styled ‘Masters of the Universe’ who have ruined lives and destroyed the US economy.For the rest, clickety-click here …
Thus the scene is set for a frantic manhunt for vigilante killers – or would be, if Graveland was a conventional thriller. The third of a loose trilogy that began with Winterland (2009) and continued with Bloodland (2011), the novel incorporates the search for the vigilantes and the investigation of their motives, and certainly proceeds at a rattling pace. Glynn, however, crafts a complex tale in which a host of disparate characters – among them a pair of radicalised brothers, a bereft father, a crusading journalist and a Wall Street kingpin – are skilfully interwoven, creating a story that is both a contemporary take on the timeless clash between the powerless and the powerful few and a commentary on the perception, interpretation and manipulation of the narratives that shape our lives.
On the one hand an invigorating slice of conspiracy noir, Graveland is simultaneously a heartbreaking account of the human cost of corporate greed.
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I Bring Grave News
I had a crime fiction column published in the Irish Times last weekend, featuring new titles from Alan Glynn, Aly Monroe, Anne Holt and Carl Hiaasen. The review of Alan Glynn’s GRAVELAND (Faber and Faber) runs like this: