The Field of Blackbirds by Thomas Ryan is a thriller about Jeff Bradley, a former New Zealand military man, and his dangerous quest to find a missing friend.
Jeff’s business associate Arben has travelled to Kosovo to see into a dispute over his family’s vineyard. Jeff gets a message from his panicked friend, and then suspects the worst when Arben disappears.
In a swirl of corrupt officials and honest friends who are almost impossible to tell apart, Jeff looks for Arben in the post-war city. Double crosses and shadowy events turn Jeff’s search into a dangerous plunge into the Kosovo bitter weather to find the truth.
The Field of Blackbirds is a well-written journey of desperate people struggling to regain their humanity in the soup of crooked local politics. Mixed in was a ghost intelligence agency on a relentless pursuit of an international terrorist.
The taut plot had twists to the end. Thomas Ryan’s well-drawn characters made Lita cheer their successes and also doubt their motives. The story’s sense of place was so well-defined that at times Lita felt the numbness of Jeff’s gloveless hands, and she wrinkled her nose at the sour odor of fear.
The Gentle Readers who love thrillers that make them stay up all night would enjoy The Field of Blackbirds. Be sure to wear gloves while reading this book to keep Kosovo’s frigid winter from nipping your fingers as you turn the pages.