The third book in French’s Dublin Murder Squad series and the best one so far. Follows the story of a detective who returns, after twenty years away, to his dysfunctional family and neighborhood to investigate the death of his high school sweetheart. Like all of French’s books, the plot is strong, but it’s the characters and dialogue that keep you at it. I figured out the killer about half way through the book, but I didn’t care. I wanted to find out what happened to these people. I try not to equate too closely the experience of the Irish with the experience of my own ethnic group – the Irish American – but the similarities here between these hard scrabble shanty Irish and my own family were eerie. The family at the center of this book is much like my own extended kin, full of love and resentment; humor and booze. They tell a good story, sing a sad song, and really struck a nerve with me.
If you’re a fan of crime fiction, I’m sure you’d enjoy it. If you’re a certain kind of Irish American, you’ll see reflections of your own family in these pages, and my guess is, devour it.
Recommended for the enthusiast.