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BoD: The Dark Fields

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There were a spate of books and stories a short while ago about smart drugs (or other mechanisms) that made people become suddenly super-intelligent, or super-power, or even super-sexy. Even Thom Jones got into the act with a short story about a guy who finds this technique that makes him confident and irresistible. But the best, by far, exploration of this plot was Alan Glynn’s 2003 novel The Dark Fields. Better written than your usual thriller, more exciting than your usual literary novel, this book mines the same territory and has the same feel as the original Matrix film. Remember, the one that was so cool with that greenish tint, the one before the success and the sequels that became just any other summer blockbuster? Anyway, this book has an edge, and a feel, and a rhythm, that can’t be denied.

Here is a snippet of a Publishers Weekly review: “Bordering on techno-thriller territory, this slick, suspenseful debut imagines a new breed of “smart drug” that produces some deadly side effects. After complaining about life in desperate times to his drug dealer/ex-brother-in-law Vernon, divorced Manhattan copywriter Eddie Spinola is tempted by the glittering promise of MDT-48, an illegal, nearly unknown designer medication guaranteed to spike intelligence and personality in mere minutes… He chooses to ignore the mounting side effects of MDT-48: piercing headaches, intense bouts of rage and “trip-switching,” a phenomenon in which time moves with a stop-motion quality… Eddie soon becomes an immensely wealthy junkie armed with awe-inspiring artistic and financial brainpower. But when he’s implicated in the brutal murder of a high-profile artist’s wife and also linked to pharmaceutical espionage, his perfect new world unravels and the shocking truth about MDT-48’s origin and purpose is revealed. Glynn’s sustained, rapid-fire pace hurls readers headfirst toward a gripping, if bleak, conclusion that makes for some breathless page-turning. Dublin-based Glynn, who lived in New York for four years, gets the frenzied pace of the city just right… Young, hip readers who are open to experimentation will be the first audience for this credible and timely thriller. Word of mouth will do the rest.”

I couldn’t agree more, so here’s my bit of contributing to the word of mouth spread of this book, albeit a little late. Pick up a copy of this thrilling book here