Monday 20 August 2018

Thriller: Paradime by Alan Glynn

Faber & Faber €17.99

Paradime by Alan Glynn
Paradime by Alan Glynn

Anne Cunningham

Danny Lynch returns from civilian work in Afghanistan and is back in New York, looking for a job. He has witnessed a horrific incident abroad and his girlfriend urges him to go public about it. But his contracting firm has other ideas. Like swaddling him in a blanket of lawsuits so tight, he'll suffocate. To his girlfriend's dismay, Danny settles for the lower moral ground.

After finding work as a chef in a restaurant, Lynch spots his Doppelgänger at a table and his life shifts. He becomes obsessed with his double, Teddy Trager, the billionaire behind the uber-successful Paradime company that buys up tech projects. His obsession becomes increasingly furtive as he spends what's left of his money in attempting to look as sleek and expensive as Trager.

And the fun begins.

Alan Glynn's first novel became acclaimed Hollywood movie Limitless. With its ever-spiralling tension, Paradime is even more sinister. As the plot gathers momentum, we see Danny becoming the kind of man he detests. He morphs from helpless puppet to master of his own destiny - or at least that's what he thinks. The reader sees the gulf between truth and illusion widening, and meanwhile all Danny sees is some subtle blurring of the lines he's crossing.

I was hooked from page one. Glynn can not only spin a fine yarn, he's a writer of very considerable finesse. My only gripe was a faint whiff of The Boys from Brazil at one point. But I can't say where, you'll have to find it…

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