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.