BLOODY WAR by Terry Grimwood. Eibonvale Press Â£9.99
Reviewed by Jay Eales
Bloody War is the debut full length novel from Terry Grimwood. Itâ€™s not a huge book, and I was able to read it almost in a single session; something I havenâ€™t done in years. So, I guess you could say that itâ€™s a page-turner. Very much inspired by 1984, although I also got half-remembered flashes of The War of the Worlds from it, with characters wandering through the rubble of a devastated urban landscape.
What lets the side down a touch is the editing. Some glaring typographical errors creep in, not often, but noticeably. Also, thereâ€™s an odd thing where chapter breaks sometimes end up with a complete blank double page between them, and sometimes they donâ€™t. Little things like these are not deal-breakers, and may go unnoticed by many readers, but jumped out at my inner pedant.
It may seem contradictory, but I found it a very enjoyable read, while never quite buying the scenario that Grimwood depicts, with a modern-day setting, but one that feels very much like a Word War II era equivalent. I got no real sense of a country adapting to life post-internet and mobile phone, things that have become such a big part of modern life in just a few short years. While never stooping to references of powdered eggs or a singsong around the pub piano, Britain at war doesnâ€™t seem so very different to previous conflicts, though that could be one of the messages the author is sending out.
Without giving away more than I mean to about the plot, Iâ€™m not sure what purpose the invalided-out veterans serve in the bigger scheme of things. From time to time, Grimwood peppers the story with pop culture references which I suspect will date quite badly in years to come.
Bloody War features a corking central conceit, just expressed in a way that doesnâ€™t quite live up to it. It certainly intrigued me enough to look for some of his other work.