For the moment, Ireland’s “troubles” no longer are about the country’s generations of internal war. Instead, it is the economic downturn that threatens to bring the country to its knees.

And that economic crisis is being explored by authors such as Alan Glynn, just out with his superbly plotted “Winterland.”

Glynn not only delivers a timely, topical and thoughtful novel that clarifies Ireland’s money woes, but pulls out all the stops for a briskly paced thriller that never slows down.

Noel Rafferty, a young, abrasive drug dealer, is killed outside a Dublin bar, apparently the victim of a gangland slaying. On the same night, a different Noel Rafferty, a well-respected middle-aged engineer and uncle to Noel, is killed in an automobile accident, apparently drunk at the wheel after leaving his grieving family’s home.

Two men from the same family with the same name dying the same night could be plausible, though coincidental. Gina Rafferty doesn’t believe the explanations. She had just seen her much older brother before he got in his car and he was sober. She also knows that her nephew, while a bit of a jerk, didn’t have a grudge with his business associates.

Gina is right. The real target was the older Noel, whose involvement in the building of the new skyscraper, Richmond Plaza, has made some powerful people nervous. Richmond Plaza is to be the tallest skyscraper in Europe, a chance to make Dublin into a real center of commerce. Gina’s probing comes up against the ambitions of the next prime minister, a ruthless businessman and an American entrepreneur.

Glynn skillfully melds his novel of greed and blind ambition into a metaphor of Ireland’s spiral from a booming country teeming with development to its economic collapse. Power, politics and money converge.