Cleverly titling his review of Blood Loss (The Irish Times, 29 July 2012) "A Barclay to Count On," Declan Burke says:
"Where Thomas Enger inserts his character’s woes into the narrative with a heavy hand, Alex Barclay is much more deft in making the personal political in Blood Loss (Harper, £6.99), her fifth novel in all and the third to feature the Denver-based FBI agent Ren Bryce, who works with Colorado’s Safe Streets programme.
"The disappearance of two young girls from their hotel room in the skiing town of Breckenridge looks to be a straightforward case of abduction, but Ren, who suffers from bipolar disorder and is struggling with one of her manic phases, quickly finds the case opening up to involve the abuse of antipsychotic drugs and corruption in the pharmaceutical industry.
"By making Ren’s internal monologues an integral part of the character’s appeal, Barclay establishes her heroine as an empathic, self-questioning, no-nonsense woman who is deliciously self-lacerating when it comes to her faults, even if such hyperawareness tends to cause her to doubt her own judgment. Perversely, given the theme of the damage wrought on mental health by misdiagnosis and prescription for profit, this is arguably Barclay’s most balanced novel to date, as Ren’s personal and professional concerns dovetail for a persuasive finale."