- Barbara Copperthwaite
Review: BLOQ, Alan Jones
“Not only action-packed but intelligent”
A gritty crime thriller. Glasgow man Bill Ingram waits in the city's Central Station to meet his daughter, returning home from London for Christmas. When the last train pulls in, and she doesn't get off it, he makes a desperate overnight dash to find out why. His search for her takes over his life, costing him his job and, as he withdraws from home, family and friends, he finds himself alone, despairing of ever seeing her again.
This book is a diamond in the rough.
The storyline is deceptively simple: a father goes to meet his daughter from the train, but she never arrives. He must turn detective, and find out what has happened to her. From that point, the reader is led on a rollercoaster ride that is grim, graphic, and gritty, and will have you screaming in frustration at the horrifying twists and turns (not least because for some people, this ‘story’ is real life). The execution of the plot is not only action-packed but intelligent – a rare combination. What’s more, the author manages to pack an unexpected emotional punch. This is a great story.
But for all that, the novel is not a sparkler. The writing is rough around the edges and in order to reach its full potential, it needs buffing. Ultimately, it’s all about what you as a reader are willing to forgive. Do you want perfect prose, but possibly a dull storyline? Or would you prefer a rough diamond that tells a hell of a tale? Ideally, of course, we all want both, but if you have to make a choice (and don’t mind graphic violence and a fair amount of swearing) then I’d advise you check out Bloq.