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The Dark Fields [Paperback]

Alan Glynn
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 8 2003
'There are enough twists and thrills to keep readers up late-even without resorting to illegal and dangerous substances.'- The New York Times Book Review

Imagine a drug that makes your brain function with perfect efficiency, tapping into your most fundamental resources of intelligence and drive, releasing all the passive knowledge you'd ever accumulated. A drug that made you focused, charming, fast, even attractive. Eddie Spinola is on such a drug. It's called MDT-48, and it's Viagra for the brain-a designer drug that's redesigning his life. But while MDT is helping Eddie achieve the kind of success he's only dreamed about, it's also chipping away at his sanity-splitting headaches, spontaneous blackouts, violent outbursts. And now that he's hooked and his supply is running low, Eddie must venture into the drug's dark past to feed his habit. What he discovers proves that MDT, once a dream come true, has become his worst nightmare.

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From Publishers Weekly

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. It really works, but Eddie's initial rush is so mind-blowing that even discovering Vernon's murdered body (and a hidden stash of cash and pills) barely interrupts his growing addiction. 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. Day trading on the stock market like a seasoned professional, 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. And though Eddie's demise is foreshadowed from the opening paragraph, his likability as a protagonist serves the swift and thrilling narrative well. Fine secondary characters like shady Russian loan shark Gennady and Eddie's ex-wife Melissa appear in many scenes, but the reader remains riveted to Eddie's fate in this impeccably imagined and executed debut. (Jan.) Forecast: 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.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Eddie, a small time New Yorker who earns his living pounding out copy for illustrated manuals finds his life changes dramatically when a drug dealer introduces him to an amazing new designer drug that enables his resources of intelligence and drive function with amazing efficiency. When his dealer is murdered he escapes with a large stash and starts to make the kind of money about which he has only dreamed. However, there is a downside of blinding headaches, irrational behaviour - and worse is to follow in this high-voltage debut thriller. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good first novel March 5 2002
A good first novel by Alan Fields.
Eddie Spinola is a copywriter working for Kerr and Dexter Publishing. One day while walking down the street he runs into his ex-brother-in-law. It's been about ten years since they've seen each other, so they chatted a bit. The next thing you know Eddie is given a pill to try. This 'supposed' smart pill apparently does make him smarter but it also has some deleterious side effects. Death seems to surround this drug whether it's murder or the side effects.
The first half of the book seemed to move rather slowly, but the second half picked up the pace and made the book well worth the read. The whole concept of a smart drug was very intriguing. Eddie Spinola's character was likable but I didn't really care if anything happened to him. He was naïve about the drugs side effects and thinking ahead. The ending was left somewhat open. A good first novel with a not so good cover.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ...read this one! April 22 2002
...The Dark Fields" hardly fits the cookie-cutter format of your average fiction of this genre. If you had to put it in a box, I'd call it Science Fiction.... Glynn's narrative voice for protagonist Eddie Spinola is strong and distinct, his New York (in a not too distant future/alternate future?) is detailed, alive and edgy, peopled with a well-drawn cast of supporting characters. I wish Glynn had done more with Ginny Van Loon and Donatella Alvarez, both strong female characters woefully underused. Nonetheless, a very satisfying read. ...Alan Glynn is writer to watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected. May 8 2004
Frankly, I thought the blurbs on this novel damned it with faint praise. Some writer said it was a good "start" for Glynn. Someone else called it "slick." I was expecting it to be kind of a silly romp. Instead, I thought the idea of this drug posed interesting questions. So what if it kills you. Life is terminal. I want some! I had no fault to find with the writing style. It was fast and transparent. That is a lot more difficult to achieve than many realize. This is a very good thriller.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Thriller that keeps the pages turning June 12 2003
When I bought the book a few months back, I knew I would have a great story on my hands but I just kept on putting it aside.
I finally picked up the story and loved it. The Dark Fields deals with issues such as addiction, greed, self destruction. I enjoyed the character Eddie Spinola very much. The MDT-48 was a very dangerous drug and it kept on keeping me intrigued as to what step Eddie would take next.
I do recommend reading this book if you are looking for a good thriller.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining read but little more April 29 2002
I bought this novel based on the synopsis and customer reviews I found here. I usually like techno-style, sci-fi thrillers with a realistic edge. The Dark Fields is certainly not a bad read but it lacks that extra something which makes it truly unique or unforgettable. It's fast-paced and original, but never gripping. Especially the end I found a bit predictable and disappointing. Still I'm looking forward to Glynn's next book.
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