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review 2018-03-04 14:26
Last Orders (The Dublin Trilogy Book 4) - Caimh McDonnell

And so it ends. If I could I’d insert a picture of me having a tantrum that would leave any self respecting 2 year old in awe. On second thought that might be too scary. But I digress…


This is the one fans of the Dublin Trilogy have been waiting for & it doesn’t disappoint. We’ve followed Paul, Brigit & Bunny through murders & mayhem that made us cringe & laugh in equal measure. As this one begins, their private investigation firm MCM is barely solvent. Brigit seems to be the only one showing up for work these days & is royally done with stalking cheating spouses.


Paul is engaged in prank warfare with a rival firm run by the Kelleher brothers who are responsible for his breakup with Brigit. And Bunny…well, Bunny is mostly AWOL. He’s spending a lot of time with 2 men who were with him at a particular incident about 20 years ago. Which would be fine if they were alive. Unfortunately they’re figments & Bunny is getting more than a few looks as he’s seen arguing with himself around town.  Could it be the feared & infamous ex-copper is finally losing the plot?


It seems to have started about the time DSI Susan Burns & sidekick Det. Donnacha Wilson were called to a remote area outside of Dublin. New construction unearthed human remains. The bodies are old with nothing to identify them. When the coroner deems them at least 20 years old, all Susan can do is turn to forensic testing. And boy, does she get results. Before she knows it FBI Agent Alana Dove is on her doorstep, demanding to be part of the investigation.


Meanwhile Brigit gets news the firm is being sued & there’s a better than average chance they’ll lose it all to the Kellehers. No more about that. The ensuing game of spy vs spy between the 2 groups adds tension mixed with insanity that may have led to some unladylike snorts on my part.


But the heart of the story belongs to Bunny. Dear, hurley-weilding (& arguably sociopathic) Bunny. After the first 2 books of the trilogy the author released “Angels in the Moonlight”, a companion book that gave us the details of Bunny’s past. It’s a fantastic read that made me look at the big guy in a completely different way as I began to understand how he became this solitary man with an oddly honourable code of ethics. That past has come back to haunt him. He’s done some dodgy things & you get the feeling he’s finally going to pay.


As usual, the characters are colourful & so well described you feel like you would recognize them on the street. One standout is Susan Burns. She’s a whip smart cop with a sharp mind & sharper tongue & I enjoyed her scenes immensely. Dialogue is sharp, witty & full of vernacular that gives you plenty of laughs to break the building tension as all the story lines begin to converge. There’s a big finale ahead & no doubt that things at MCM will never be the same.


This series has been such a pleasure to read. The books are smart, well paced & endlessly entertaining & I highly recommend reading them in order of publication. There are hints some of the characters may pop up in future projects so….tick tick, Mr. McDonnell. No time like the present. Now if you’ll excuse me I have a tantrum to finish.



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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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