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Search tags: caimh-mcdonnell
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review 2017-08-29 00:58
Angels in the Moonlight - Caimh McDonnell

If you’ve read “The Man with One of Those Faces” or “The Day that Never Comes”, no doubt you remember Dublin Detective Bunny McGarry. His wayward glare & ever present hurling stick make him hard to forget. And at some point you probably wondered if he’d always been crazy. In this prequel to the Dublin trilogy, we get to find out.

 

The story begins with a hilarious routine between Bunny & his partner Tim “Gringo” Spain as they try to talk a jumper off a ledge. They are truly chalk & cheese. Bunny is younger version of himself, blunt & permanently disheveled. Gringo is a handsome guy with nary a hair out of place. But maybe it’s their differences that make them such a good team.

 

Along with the usual headaches, Dublin police are dealing with a spate of robberies involving a well organized gang & armored trucks. So Detectives Harry Delaney & Bob Mulholland are assigned to follow the latest shipment. Sadly their partnership is hardly a bromance & before the day is over, it will be tested further when they meet up with a grenade.

 

The powers that be have had it & DI Fintan O’Rourke puts together a task force to deal with the gang once & for all. Because everyone knows who’s behind the robberies…..Tommy Carter & his crew. Tommy runs Clanavale Estate, an area of Dublin even the cops avoid. He’s young, smart & knows how to cover his tracks. Bunny has history with Tommy so he’s not surprised when he & Gringo are invited to join the team.

 

There is a large cast from all walks that provide colour & sub plots to the main story line. Two deserve special mention. Simone is a mysterious bartender who catches Bunny’s eye & through her we see another side of the blustery cop. Then there’s Sister Bernadette....half nun/half ninja & my new role model. ‘Nuff said.

 

Like the other books, it’s a cracking good police procedural with plenty of humour & red herrings to tempt you down the wrong path. But this has a little something extra that gives it a darker edge. There’s an added depth to the story & characterization that shows the author’s growth as a writer. You get a sense that he’s really hit his stride & as much as I enjoyed the previous books, I think it’s his best so far. I’ve grown quite attached to this band of loons & will be waiting on the next one.

 

For the uninitiated, the combination of wit & grit is reminiscent of Stuart MacBride & Jay Stringer, to name a couple.

 

         

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review 2017-02-15 08:00
A Man With One Of Those Faces
A Man With One of Those Faces - Caimh McDonnell

It is not often that I immediately decide to buy a book based on a single review, but after (I believe it was) Magdalena's review for the second book of the series, I couldn't resist. It just sounded like the thing I would most definitely like, and I did.

Paul is a man with one of those faces, they blend in very easily and are often mistaken for those of others. As such, he's doing a volunteer job at a hospice as the 'granny whisperer', talking to dying patients and pretending to be their relative so they feel less lonely. That is, until one of them tries to kill him.

What follows is a very funny pursuit in which Paul, together with Nurse Brigit try to stay out of the hands of the Dublin underworld. I liked it a lot. I expected to like it, but still, there needs to be some kind of connection and luckily it was there. The characters are very witty and the there's enough making fun of the clichés that it actually doesn't matter not everything is super original. I truly felt sorry for both Paul and Brigit as their lives haven't always been easy and they made some difficult decisions.

To be honest, for me was it not the laugh-out-loud experience that other people said it was, but I did smirk from time to time, and I truly enjoyed reading it.

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review 2017-01-21 15:56
The Day That Never comes (The Dublin Trilogy Book 2) - Caimh McDonnell

If you read “The Man With One of Those Faces” (and if not, what’s your problem?!) you’ll have some idea what to expect from book #2 of the author’s Dublin trilogy. Murder, peril, hurling…and lots of inappropriate laughter. Add some street riots & a sociopathic German Shepherd & you’ll get a taste of what our intrepid “heroes” face in this outing.

 

Against all odds, Paul Mulchrone, Brigit Conroy & Bunny McGarry are back (Darwin must be rolling in his grave). Life changed after they inadvertently solved the infamous “Rapunzel” case & starting a private investigation firm seemed the logical next step. But there have been a few hitches.

 

Paul found some space for the MCM Agency & just in time as he’s suddenly homeless. He is now living at the office & with another woman. Her name is Maggie. She is of German extraction, has 4 legs, sharp teeth & major attitude. But the biggest problem is he can’t get the necessary operating license without his partners. The “M Agency” just won’t cut it.

 

Brigit has issues of her own. She & Paul are no longer an item following a late night text she received. And after that unfortunate incident at work involving a naked doctor & handcuffs, she was encouraged to take some time off so it looks like her nursing gig is over. What to do…

 

Det. Bunny McGarry finally got shoved into retirement & he’s not taking it well. Then he gets the really bad news. Some local developers have convinced city council to re-zone his beloved hurling field. He’s been coaching disadvantaged kids for years in attempts to keep them on the straight & narrow & it might be the only good thing he’s ever done. Bunny knows the politicians have been bought & sets out to change their minds with his own kind of currency…….police files that detail every secret & scandal that got swept under the rug. Then he disappears.

 

As the story opens, the three of them are tearing around the city in separate investigations. Dublin is not a happy place these days. The Celtic Tiger has died & it looks like a group of property developers responsible for hundreds losing their homes are going to walk on charges of fraud. A heat wave adds to the general crankiness of the population so when a disillusioned priest steps forward to demand change for the common man, fed up Dubliners answer the call.

 

Going to stop blabbing about the plot now. There are multiple side stories & you want to pay attention to the dates that precede each chapter as there’s a bit of to-ing & fro-ing with the time lines. You really need to just pick this up, sit back & enjoy how the author keeps all the plates spinning in this circus of crime. Along with the 3 MC’s we also get to follow corrupt businessmen, bent politicians & members of the Garda. It’s a full on sprint full of laugh out loud moments as story lines gradually converge. There is also a startling similarity to real life current events at Dublin’s Apollo House which the author addresses at the end.

 

Now don’t go into this thinking it’s all light hearted shenanigans, sunshine & one grumpy puppy. There are some gruesome & violent scenes as befits “really bad guy” behaviour. But there’s a laugh right around every corner & Bunny’s dialogue alone provides ample entertainment. Of the new characters, special mention goes to DSI Susan Burns. She’s a smart, gutsy detective with a dry sense of humour & a penchant for Louboutins…my kind of girl.

 

I’m a big fan of police procedurals & crime fiction. When I find one laced with original characters & black humour, I’m a happy camper. For my book $$$, you can’t beat smart & funny. So a big thank you to Mr. McDonnell for sending an ARC my way & hopefully, he’s slaving away on book #3.

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review 2016-10-27 04:10
A Man With One of Those Faces - Caimh McDonnell

Oh ye Gods, where to start…….genre? Um, suspense/police procedural/hilarious barely controlled Irish mayhem. Box ticked.

 

Meet Paul Mulchrone. He’s a 28 year old Dubliner dedicated to being a permanent thorn in the side of his dead great aunt’s lawyer (the aunt is dead, the lawyer is just irritated). After ignoring him all her life, she left a provision in her will for him to receive 500 GBP a month until he found a job. Oh, and he has to do 6 hours/week charity work & stay out of trouble. It was all going so well.

 

Paul has one of those faces. Everyone thinks they know him from somewhere. So he spends 6 hours each week visiting an old folks home where residents mistake him for their long lost brother, neighbour or grandchild. RN Brigit Conroy signs off his hours which he gleefully presents to Auntie Fidelma’s lawyer in exchange for another month’s keep.

 

He has his regulars but one night Brigit asks him to visit Martin Brown, a cantankerous old man who is dying. Hopefully he’ll mistake Paul for a family member & anyhoo, what could go wrong?

 

Well….a lot actually. By the time the dust settles Paul is in the local A&E, a hitman has been hired to kill him and the Gardai have a few questions about the body he left behind.

 

What follows is a mad tale of mistaken identity, gangsters, bent cops, murder & a decades old kidnapping. There’s even a kitchen sink.  It’s an entertaining combination of hair raising encounters & hilarious observations sure to appeal to fans of the Coen brothers. Think “Fargo” but with Irish accents.

 

Chapters alternate between several characters’ POV so we’re kept up on side stories that tie in to the overall plot. The dialogue is sharp & full of vernacular that is frequently laugh out loud funny if not downright inappropriate in some scenes. Only a people who spent years enduring the Troubles could face impending death with a shrug. The peripheral cast is large & there’s not a dud in the bunch (including Colin Farrell!!) . Standouts include the deadpan DI Jimmy Stewart, uber pregnant lawyer Nora Stokes & the unintentionally funny Dr. Sinha.

 

It’s a fast paced story that keeps you giggling on the edge of your seat while you cheer on Paul & Brigit in their quest to keep breathing. Recommended for fans of Carl Hiaasen, Stuart MacBride, Jay Stringer & Tim Dorsey.

 

 

 

         

 

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