Bloody War reviewed in Black Static

Posted: August 21, 2011 by douglasthompson in Reviews

Peter Tennant has reviewed Terry Grimwood’s Bloody War in the latest edition of Black Static, Britain’s leading Horror magazine. Pete writes:

“…Grimwood is bang on the money, with his nebulous Enemies of Democracy,a conflict in which the opponent is always some vague bogeyman used as a pretext by the authorities for greater restrictionson our civil liberties. Equally, there are literary comparisons begging to be made, as for instance with the totalitarian state as portrayed in Orwell’s 1984, but more appositely I feel it brings to mind the work of Philip K. Dick, both in the reality dislocation of the opening chapters, as Pete adjusts to what has gone wrong with his world, and in the ending with its echoes of work like Total Recall and A Scanner Darkly. Grimwood handles this aspect very well, the character’s confusion coming over strongly, the sense of being a stranger in a strange land, victim of a world he never made, with the clues deftly planted. A former biker and reformed criminal, Allman (the name is presumably intended to reference Pete’s status as a representative of all men) is a family man and all round good egg, somebody most readers will be able to identify with, an ordinary guy trying to do right by himself and others, not infallible but willing to own up to his mistakes. We can respect his close relationship with his wife and daughters, the way in which he tries to save his son from being chewed up by the military machine. He is someone who attempts to do the right thing, no matter how difficult that may be and even when he isn’t actually sure what the right thing to do is. Grimwood is equally adept at capturing some of the horror and futility of war, the way in which the civilian population are brainwashed into accepting the unthinkable and pursuing a hateful agenda, with asides on the techniques of the police state…

In conclusion, Bloody War was a potentially excellent dystopian tale, a serious book about serious matters, an engaging and often repellent slice of drama, with a believable protagonist, one whose dilemma is rendered compellingly on the page…”

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