Terry Grimwood's Bloody War was published by Eibonvale Press in April 2011.
Here's information about Terry Grimwood:
Suffolk-born Terry Grimwood started his working life as an electrician and is now a college lecturer, having travelled full-circle from doing the job to teaching it (which he prefers). Along the way he has been a quality assurance manager, project manager and technical author. He is the author of numerous short stories and reviews which have appeared in Midnight Street, Bare Bone, Murky Depths, All Hallows, FutureFire and Eibonvale Press's own Blind Swimmer anthology among others. He has written and directed three plays and runs the Exaggerated Press which started when he published his first collection, The Exaggerated Man. His novella, The Places Between is available from Pendragon Press and his novel Axe will be published by Bad Moon Press in late 2011. Terry's web site can be found at http://exaggeratedpress.weebly.com/. Bloody War is his first full length novel.
Here's the decription of Bloody War from the publisher's website:
Bloody War. Always on the news, from somewhere around the world. War seems to be something humanity just cannot get out of its system. And yet, for most of us here in the UK, war is little more than a spectacle where we sit comfortably, tut-tutting over horrors taking place in far off and unknown lands, before returning to our grumbles about the spending cuts or immigration or whatever else it is that sets you off. That’s as far as it goes, save maybe for memories and stories of the dark days of WWII. But just suppose that all-out war was to come to Great Britain again? War where fire and death rain down from the skies again and where cities are reduced to corpse-strewn rubble? War against the ghosts of an unknown assailant and where patriotic media-induced insanity takes over our entire consciousness. Just remember how the Falklands War gave us a "Gotcha!" as the Belgrano sank, or how Gulf War Two hung upon a certain dodgy weapons dossier, before you get too comfy on your sofa.
This dark, bloody and very British apocalyptic novel explores just this idea, and with terrifying plausibility. Simultaneously a thrilling page-turner and a tough and painful read filled with horrifically recognizable imagery and characters, this book paints a picture of England at war with an unknown assailant and the dark and dirty depths that lurk behind that. But this is no mere rehash of WWII madness. This war is modern – contemporary. War in the age of stealth fighter drones and advanced surveillance technology. War in the age of media paranoia and modern conspiracy theory.
Imagine George Orwell's 1984 updated for 2011, with the focus on family, character and relationships rather than political ideology, and you might have the measure of Bloody War. This book, like our society, is one where politics has become an opaque and distant game, and where most people can see no further than their own living rooms. If we are not careful then the price for such false comfort, Terry Grimwood seems to suggest, may one day be terrible indeed.
A REVIEW OF TERRY GRIMWOOD'S BLOODY WAR
I first heard of Terry Grimwood when I read the Blind Swimmer anthology (it was published by Eibonvale Press and it contained one of his stories, The Higgins Tehcnique – it was a fantastic story). I'm glad that I had a chance to read his first full length novel, Bloody War, because it's a good and different kind of a science fiction book. It's one of the most interesting science fiction books I've read during the last year.
There are several books, which tell about what becomes of our world during a total devastation (famine, drought, nuclear wars, contagious diseases etc), but there are few books which can be compared to this book. Most apocalyptic books tell how some kind of a disease or a nuclear war begins to wipe out mankind, but fortunately this book doesn't fall into that category. Bloody War is a book about war and life during the wartime.
What makes Bloody War different from other apocalyptic books is that apocalyptic themes are handled in a different way. Most apocalyptic books are usually action-driven books, but Bloody War is partly a character-driven book. It focuses mainly on relationships and how the main character feels about certain things. This is good, because it adds depth, harsh realism and complexity to the story.
The main character is Peter "Pete" Allman, who wakes up one morning and doesn't remember anything about the war. He only remembers the time before the war. He's a regular guy and he has a safe job. He also has a nice and loving family, but his amnesia bothers him all the time and makes his life almost unbearable, because he doesn't know what has happened and what is happening. His amnesia is handled in an interesting way, because he wants to know more about things, but other people seem to be annoyed and concerned by his enthusiasm and hunger for knowledge.
The first couple of chapters are a bit slow, because the author writes about Pete's life and work, but the narration gathers up speed quickly. At first it seems that Pete's life is tolerable, but not perfect, because he doesn't know what has happened. Gradually everything begins to change and Pete's life becomes almost like a living nightmare. He notices that anything can happen to anybody and nobody is safe from Enemies of Democracy (EoD) or Special Security Unit (SSU). He experiences several threatening situations and is forced to act accordingly. War is never pretty and Terry Grimwood knows this – he demonstrates just how bloody and horrible war can be, when Pete's life starts to fall apart.
I think it was great when the author finally revealed who the Enemies of Democracy were. This revelation was brilliant, because the Enemies of Democracy were described as mysterious, ruthless and violent enemies who kill people. When the secrets were revealed, all the bits and pieces seemed to fall into place and suddenly everything made sense.
I loved the ending, because it was a surprisingly brutal and violent ending. I won't reveal what happens in the end, but I can mention that it isn't a happy ending. It's a grim and depressing ending, but it fits nicely into the story. This book is almost like a one man's journey into hell, because Pete's happy life turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival.
The apocalyptic society is presented in an interesting and believable way, because there's no internet, there's a curfew and the food is being rationed just like it was during the Second World War. It was interesting that certain groups of people were safe from military service while others weren't. The TV programme called Officer Quest was a good invention. It was a brutal and satirical parody of reality TV programmes.
In my opinion Bloody War is worth reading, because Terry Grimwood writes fluently and the plot is intriguing. I think that several readers will find Bloody War interesting, because it's a harsh and cruel story about war. Bloody War isn't an easy book, but it's rewarding reading experience.