Select one of the keywords
Black Irish    by Stephan Talty order for
Black Irish
by Stephan Talty
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Stephen Talty's Black Irish stars committed (to the point of obsession) homicide detective Absalom 'Abbie' Kearney. Adopted by her legendary policeman father as a child, Harvard grad Abbie has returned to work in the County, the clannish Irish American community in South Buffalo where she was always an outsider. Now her father is developing Alzheimer's, tunneling through his brain, destroying his memories.

When gruesome murders start, and move closer and closer to home, Abbie gives the case her all. An old toy monkey (from a children's game) is found at each scene, and a photograph links the victims. A number is carved into each corpse. Abbie wonders what the killer was saying with each staged scene and what he communicated to the victims. She uncovers a connection to an organization, Clan na Gael, filled with revolutionaries in its heyday. They used to run guns to Ireland, and smuggled Irish rebels into America.

Abbie is threatened and almost killed, but not deterred. Then she's arrested for the murders. Out on bail, she keeps digging and finally learns the identity of a man who took pleasure in killing. She solves the murders but along the way, learns of her own past history and the devil's bargain her father made to give her a future. This outstanding and haunting debut novel takes the driven cop to a whole new level.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews