April 19, 2012

Book Review: Dublin Dead

Gerard O'Donovan's Dublin Dead is an up-to-date, fast-paced, intriguing look at the drug war in Europe and the state of modern Ireland. Detective Inspector Mike Mulcahy leads a task force that coordinates international intelligence for Ireland's National Drug Unit. He and his partner, Liam Ford, have been investigating the abandonment of a ship on the Cork coast--a ship holding a staggering 100 million euros' worth of cocaine.

But Mulcahy still has nightmares about his confrontation with a serial killer in O'Donovan's debut novel, The Priest. Reporter Siobhan Fallon has nightmares of her own, because the Priest actually crucified her. After a year of counseling and physical therapy, Siobhan is ready to work again, so her boss sends her to Cork to cover the funeral of wunderkind estate agent Cormac Hogan, who lost a bundle when the housing bubble burst. Siobhan soon finds out that Hogan's girlfriend mysteriously disappeared the day after he died and begins to suspect that the apparent suicide may not be what it seems.

Meanwhile, Mulcahy and Ford discover that a former Irish drug lord, Declan Begley, has been murdered in Spain. Spanish cops have requested assistance, so Mulcahy and Ford start looking into some of Begley's cronies in Ireland. They soon find surprising links to both the ship full of cocaine and Siobhan's investigation into Hogan's death. As the mystery unfolds, Mulcahy and Siobhan struggle to figure out the ramifications (both personal and career) of their collaboration, and come to terms with their memories.

If you're looking for a good, modern police procedural, this book is perfect. I enjoyed the background on Ireland's current economic problems, and how O'Donovan wove these real-life strands into the story. I originally read this book and wrote the review for Shelf Awareness, but I enjoyed it enough that I think I may look for O'Donovan's first book.

Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Should I recommend this to my grandma? I wouldn't. Unless your grandma doesn't mind frequent use of the word "feckin'," and descriptions of torture...
P.S. The cover image is an Amazon affiliate link.

 Have you read many books set in modern Ireland? 
Are you a fan of police procedurals?