The White Gallows

The White Gallows by Rob Kitchin, 978-1-907499-37-1

In post-Celtic Tiger Ireland the murder rate is soaring and the gardai are struggling to cope with gangland wars, domestic disputes, and drunken brawls that spiral into fatal violence.  To add to Detective Superintendent Colm McEvoy’s workload are the deaths of two immigrants – an anonymous Lithuanian youth and an elderly German billionaire.  While one remains an enigma, the murky history of the other is slowly revealed.  But where there is money there is power and, as McEvoy soon learns, if you swim amongst sharks, you’d better act like a shark …
"As was the case with the first book in this series, The Rule Book, there is an almost hyper-realism to the way that police work is depicted here. Forensic answers do not materialise miraculously in shiny laboratories to offer the solution to a baffling case just in the nick of time, police officers do not have the luxury of working on one case at a time even if it is the murder of a VIP and criminals do not always get caught. I found The White Gallows a captivating and credible reading experience, though not always a comfortable one as it raised issues that are all too real. Its complexity and unrelenting grittiness reminded me a little of the setting and main character of R D Wingfield’s Jack Frost novels. I heartily recommend it to fans of traditional police procedurals and those who like their tales to unfold with the kind uncertainty that warrants staying awake long enough to read just one more chapter. " Reactions to Reading

"The White Gallows fulfills the promise shown in The Rule Book. The plot moves surefootedly through many twists and turns, and although I'd pieced together some of the clues, there were still several that surprised me. In many ways, what I enjoy the most about these books is twofold: (1) I enjoy reading about a caring, exhausted man who makes mistakes but doesn't know how to quit until the job is done, and (2) the books contain a hearty dose of reality. The main characters are not bulletproof, and all the investigations aren't solved and tied up in pretty little ribbons when the last page is turned." Kittling Books

"Kitchin handles the overload very well, keeping the focus on McEvoy as he bounces from one thing to another, dealing with hostile local police officials, police hierarchy, and press. This is not a thriller: there are no tense rescue scenarios or urban gunfights and only a short car chase, and not every thread is resolved at the end, adding to the sense of reality. McEvoy is not one of those super-confident cops from Hollywood, he’s constantly second-guessing his decisions, he’s frequently grasping at straws, and he frequently goes too far, making impulsive decisions and angering powerful people. But he is persistent, and if anything too dedicated to his job. A good procedural isn’t about guessing the solution to a mystery, it’s about piecing things together bit by bit until the truth of the story emerges. In The White Gallows the truths are those of family, money, and history, universals that are in this case well grounded in Irish and European realities of past and present."  International Noir

"The White Gallows is gripping entertainment. This is a fine example of a police procedural in which an accurate picture of how an over stressed and underfunded force copes with an explosion of crime in Ireland's post Celtic Tiger economy. Rob Kitchin authors a story that features both a large cast of characters, and a frenetic pace as the investigation takes place over the course of one week. His writing has a clarity and honesty about the enormous stresses of police work, and the effect this has on normal family life. Like most good crime fiction Rob Kitchin educates his readers as well as entertaining them. This series is definitely going from strength to strength, and in Colm McEvoy Rob Kitchin has created an interesting and vulnerable protagonist." Crime Scraps

"The White Gallows is not just a police procedural. Kitchin manages to build into it a number of elements - a story about German immigration to Ireland after World War II, another about modern gangs who are determined to see that the forensic evidence against them never makes it to court even if it means murder, and Colm McEvoy's own struggle to be a single father after the death of his wife from cancer only a year before. I like McEvoy. He's a workaholic, but in his situation he needs to be - it is the only way he can cope. He often rubs people up the wrong way, and he's a bit worried that one of his female officers has designs on him. So there is a very satisfying "human element" to this novel, in addition to the mystery element." Mysteries in Paradise

"This is a quietly political and very human book which is paced just right and pebble dashed with lots of believable scenes and people. It has a cracking spideweb of a story and a very likable hero in Superintendent Colm McEvoy." Paul Brazzil, You Would Say That, Wouldn't You

"The White Gallows is the second novel of Rob Kitchin featuring DS Colm McEvoy. It is an amazing police procedure with a great sense of place. The plot evolves at a right pace and Kitchin masterfully draws very real and human characters. We can easily identify with McEvoy, share his emotions and feel his frustrations. The story is complex but the pieces finally fit together. I enjoyed reading it thoroughly. A highly recommended novel and I’m looking forward to read his third book in the series." The Game's Afoot

"I enjoy a good police procedural. The interviews, the research, sifting evidence, spotting inconsistencies, making connections, the false leads, all make for a satisfying read. The story moves at a good pace though perhaps too good. I found myself, late at night, setting up elaborate conditions under which I would stop reading. Rob's two books are populated with good solid characters, even the ones you dislike, [and] I appreciate the depth given to McEvoy. The level of tension hits 11 at times. The White Gallows is another excellent contribution to crime fiction from Rob Kitchin. Highly recommended if you like police procedurals and traditional detective stories." Mack Captures Crime 

There's never a bad time to read a cleverly-consructed, well written, sophisticated police procedural teeming with strong, memorable characters and unpredictable, but convincing plot turns.  And that is what Rob Kitchin delivers in his second novel The White Gallows. ... One of the most interesting elements of the story - and this I think was helped by the reduced financial circumstances the police service found itself in - was just how difficult police work is. Nothing comes easily to McEvoy and his group. They can't just whistle up resources or magical evidence tests that point them in the right direction. They face obstacles from their superiors - under political pressure - and their peers who are jealous of the NBCI for picking up the high profile cases. Suspects don't cooperate and nor do the elements and the investigation therefore requires a great deal of elbow grease and a modicum of luck to succeed. Partly for that reason, The White Gallows is convincing as fiction and that accounts to a large degree for the success of a thoroughly enjoyable novel.  Material Witness