GRAVELAND by Alan Glynn


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Glynn (Bloodland, 2012, etc.) peers once more beneath the surface of the Big Apple’s financial sector and finds enough vermin to keep an army of exterminators busy.

Extermination, in fact, seems to be the order of the day. Hours after investment banker Jeff Gale is shot to death while jogging alone in Central Park, hedge fund manager Bob Holland is executed outside his apartment building under the eyes of his wife and a dozen other horrified witnesses. Has someone declared open season on the city’s financial elite? Freelance investigative reporter Ellen Dorsey soon finds evidence that, yes, indeed, someone has. Convinced that the third target is Scott Lebrecht, of Black Vine Partners, she’s torn between running to the cops and hanging onto a story she’ll lose control of as soon as it’s out in the public domain. At the same time, James Vaughan, the indomitable chairman of Oberon Capital Group, suddenly feeling his age of 84, is withdrawing from Oberon, leaving Chief Operating Officer Craig Howley to fend for himself in a pit of vipers; Frank Bishop, who first lost his position as an architect and then his infinitely lower-tier job managing an electronics store in a dying mall, worries because his beloved daughter Lizzie isn’t returning his calls; and the regional media market is transfixed by the trial of Connie Carillo, a senator’s daughter and a mob boss’ ex, for the stabbing of her husband, Howard Meeker, a subplot that casts a shadow as long as any Thomas Pynchon conspiracy over the whole tale without any of its leading players ever appearing outside television screens. Since Howard was an investment banker too, could his killer be behind the current vendetta, or is the connection more subtle and insidious?

Glynn couldn’t hit all his marks without a brisk, no-nonsense style that keeps the pot boiling vigorously till the midpoint, when the pressure abruptly drops till the whole sad carnival comes down at the end with an oddly muted crash.

Pub Date: May 28th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-312-62129-2
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Picador
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2013


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