Read as part of the CBR10 Bingo: First in a series. This is the first in the Dublin Trilogy.
I’m a big fan of the I Don’t Even Own a Television podcast, in which the hosts do a hilarious job chopping up bad books. At the end, they always give recommendations. One of the hosts has a taste for mysteries that is in alignment with mine, so I usually make time to check out what he suggests. This was one and a good one.
I’m none too familiar with Ireland save for my love of Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series. Caimh McDonnell is no French but he does a good job in describing enough of the Dublin scene that I got a sense of what it would be like to be on site there for the events of the book.
At the center of this is a down-on-his-luck loser named Paul. Aside from Charlie Huston’s excellent Hank Thompson series, this trope has never been a favorite of mine since most of these types are white males who had a decent shot in life but screwed it up, often of their own accord. But McDonnell writes his character from a point of empathy without making me feel completely sorry for him. And thus, I had a vested interest in his well-beings as the Irish mob starts hunting him and he teams up with a nurse and a misanthropic detective.
What really stood out to me on this one was the dialogue. This book is hilarious. I’ve read plenty of works in which the author tries too hard to be clever, passing off dreck as wit. But McDonnell has a gift here. Every ten pages gifted me with a laugh.
There were issues I had with the plot and the redundancy of some characters but it’s still a fun read and I’ll be checking out more of the series at some point.