Private investigator Ed Loy (The Price of Blood, 2008, etc.) must crack a case the Garda say they cracked 18 years ago.
Anne Fogarty has the kind of weathered loveliness that’s catnip to the likes of Ed. What she tells him the day she walks into his Dublin office is attention-getting as well. “My father was murdered in l991,” she says, then adds that the wrong man was convicted for Brian Fogarty’s murder. The real killer, currently walking free, is one of three men, she concludes, furnishing Ed with a list. Among those she fingers is Jack Cullen, racketeer, drug lord and central figure in the murder of young soccer star Paul Delaney, which happens to be the other case Ed is deeply involved in. True, no one has hired him to look into Paul’s death, but for a certain kind of shamus that scarcely matters. Paul’s older brother Dessie had asked him, friend to friend, to keep an eye on the kid, and though no one’s throwing blame around, Ed characteristically reaches out for some. “He died on my watch,” he tells Dessie. Was young Paul dealing drugs under Jack’s auspices? And just how fraught was the connection between Cullen and Anne’s dead father? An often bruised and battered Ed soon acknowledges that not everyone wants these questions answered.
An overcomplicated plot redeemed by first-class writing.