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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bleed a River Deep. Brian McGilloway. Mcmillian (2009)


Very enjoyable crime story sent in Donegal. A botched bank robbery by an illegal immigrant and a very public assault on a visiting US diplomat are the start of a great deal of trouble for Garda Inspector Ben Devlin. The threads of the plot include the activities of a gold mining operation set up by a second generation Irish-American businessman and a human trafficking ring operating in the North of Ireland. The story is nicely paced, the reveals are well done and the conclusion is sourly satisfying.
The cast are well developed and interesting, Ben Devlin is a hard working police officer, who has a stable family and a desire to do his duty. The problems he has with his superior officer, Superintendent Patterson veer closer to crime story cliche than is comfortable. The conflict has the appearance of being required by the plot rather than arising directly from the context of their situation. The rest of the story is very well handled, the easy and natural relations between Ben Devlin and his counterparts in the PSNI is nicely done.
The plot is developed in a low key fashion that works very well, the investigation is driven by thinking and steady work that does not minimise the depth of the corruption and the damage it creates. This is thoughtful and smart crime fiction, well worth reading.

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