Alan Jones’ Bloq is a heartbreaking, grim, gripping and terrific psychological thriller about a man’s search for his daughter.
It’s nasty and horrible and the most shocking thing of all is you could easily imagine the criminals in true life! I was captivated and drawn in, had to finish it as with every further page it became more necessary to find out what happened next. The prologue is a perfect example of the author’s dark humour when he describes gangsters getting rid of a body (mutilating it along the way) as a “funeral” with only four people present and a few omissions such as a coffin…
After the grim Prologue, we find ourselves on the Glasgow Central Station platform with Bill Ingram, waiting for his 25-year-old daughter Carol to come home for Christmas from London. Train after train arrives from London, but Carol is not to be seen. Bill has stuck around for hours and is worried sick. At the Police Station, they are not too keen to fill in a Missing Person’s Report for an adult and advise Bill to wait. But Bill’s paternal instincts are warning him that something is wrong. Thus he decides to drive down to Carol’s London flat himself and find out where she is. Little does he know that his life has already changed tremendously and that his future will be completely different from the one he imagined after his wife died a few months ago. Carol’s flat is empty as is her fridge and a layer of dust covers the furniture. Seeing this, Bill had to admit to himself that Carol had seemed distant for the bigger part of the past year.
The reason Carol has not been in touch with her father becomes clear when we witness her behaviour from the same year and watch her on her girls’ nights out with her two best friends at nightclub Bloq. Especially Bloq’s charming owner Aleksander is a magnet for the girls – but which of the three is his favourite? Soon the three of them regularly frequent Bloq. Nightclub manageress Anna warns Carol against Aleksander – but she must be jealous. Otherwise, why would she work there if she did not like her boss? As Aleksander and Carol become more intimate, Carol slowly distances herself from her job, her friends and her father and becomes more and more obsessed by Aleksander. We have a grim premonition because one day in the near future Carol is nowhere to be found. In the search for his daughter, Bill receives help from an unexpected source – but has to face drugs, prostitution and Eastern European gangsters.
Bloq is a fascinating read and once gripped by Bill’s desperate search for his daughter Carol, you cannot put it aside as you need to know what happens next. Inasmuch as I hated the background topics of drugs, prostitution and gangsters, I loved the character of Bill who sacrifices everything for his goal. It is shocking to see how the police deal with missing persons’ reports when it concerns adults. The book is well written and the plot expertly woven. As to the storyline, the book is divided into two halves but telling you the reasons why would give away too much. I had a bit of difficulty moving along to the second part, as the speed first slowed down making me need some time to be drawn in again. Gradually, the intriguing and gruesome, sometimes touching plotline got to me. I was glad the torture was not too explicitly outlined, which cannot be stated for the sex scenes (not that it bothered me). I love this dark and gritty thriller that expertly combines violent and explosive scenes with unconditional parental and sisterly love.
About the Author
Alan Jones is a Scottish author, with three gritty crime stories to his name, the first two set in Glasgow and the third one based in London. Living on the Clyde coast in Ayrshire, he works in the animal health industry, makes furniture and maintains and sails a 40-year-old yacht in the Irish Sea and Scotland’s West coast. He writes under a pen name for work related reasons. He loves reading, watching films and cooking. Last year he hung up his football boots as age and a dodgy ankle caught up with him. His books are not for the faint-hearted, with some strong language, violence and various degrees of sexual content. His first two books The Cabinetmaker (ebook 2013 – paperback 2015) and Blue Wicked (ebook 2014 – paperback 2015) contain in the author’s words “a fair smattering of Glasgow slang.”
|Publisher||Ailsa Publishing (20 July 2016)|