Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Review of Angels in the Moonlight by Caimh McDonnell (McFori Ink, 2018)

1999, Dublin. A well-organised and ruthless gang are committing armed robbery. The police have a good idea as to who is behind the clever heists, but they are smart and their local neighbourhood protects them given they had rid the area of drug dealers. Detective Bunny McGarry and his partner Detective Sergeant Tim ‘Gringo’ Spain are drafted in to help with the investigation. Both have their own problems – Spain has separated from his wife and has a gambling habit, McGarry has fallen for an American jazz singer who is living with an order of nuns, on the run from a crime committed in New York. As the cat and mouse game between the police and gang intensifies, so does McGarry’s ardour for Simone. The path to justice and love though are never smooth, especially when Bunny McGarry, a man who rubs both his colleagues and criminals up the wrong way, is involved. 
Angels in the Moonlight is a prequel to McDonnell’s ‘Dublin trilogy’ focusing on a key case and romance of Detective Bunny McGarry, a Cork man with a passion for hurling who is serving in Dublin. McGarry is a delightful character, a man with a distain for authority and a trouble-maker, but fiercely loyal to friends, committed to upholding justice, and with a soft, romantic side that he keeps well hidden. McDonnell exposes these traits through the investigation of an armed gang of robbers and his wooing of an American jazz singer hiding in Dublin. As with the Dublin trilogy, the story moves at a relatively quick clip, has a number of well-penned, colourful characters, and has a streak of dark humour running throughout with a number of belly-laugh moments. The scenes with the order of nuns and the hurling matches were a delight, with some wonderfully witty dialogue. The two parallel storylines were interesting, though both were well signposted and fairly predictable. Overall, a fun and funny read.

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