Thursday, July 11, 2013
Review of The Deal by Michael Clifford (Hachette, 2013)
The Deal is a story about ordinary folk, down on their luck in a recession, turning to the fringes of crime to try and make a quick buck and keep their heads above water, and the criminals who exploit them ruthlessly. It had a strong feel of social realism, as might be expected from a journalist author, and my sense was it gave a good portrayal of dark underbelly of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland, much like Clifford’s excellent first book, Ghost Town. Indeed, the story is an interesting tale and its competently told, but it felt a little flat until the last third when it picked up in pace and tension. Likewise the characters felt somewhat two-dimensional and I never really connected with them or their troubles. Overall, then, whilst the plot was well worked and is a timely portrait of contemporary Ireland, the telling seemed to lack bite and sparkle. Nevertheless, I look forward to Clifford’s next offering.