Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Review of Black Irish by Stephan Talty (Headline, 2013)
Black Irish is a police procedural thriller that rattles along a quick clip. The strength of the novel is its characterisation and sense of place. Absolam Kearney is a strong, proud and feisty cop with a sizable chip on her shoulder who makes for a compelling lead character. The other characters are well-penned and Talty captures well the close relations of a clannish community. He also creates a vivid sense of the County and Buffalo in general as a rust-belt city down on its heels. The plot for the most part works well, revealing the Irish republican history of the community and its legacy, and the tension builds throughout. However, the tale falters somewhat towards the end, with what for me was one twist too far that felt too implausible and contrived. Nonetheless, this was an enjoyable start to a series, with a lead character and setting I look forward to following.