The body in the boot of the car parked at the airport has been decomposing for several days before a security guard notices the trickles of hardening blood on the macadam and calls Dublin’s Murder Squad. Once they swing into action, though, it doesn’t take Inspector Matt Minogue (The Good Life, 1995, etc.) and his able assistant Thomas Malone long to identify the dead tourist as Patrick Shaughnessy, the son of American frozen-foods millionaire John Leyne, now en route to the Ould Sod with his ex-wife to reclaim the body—and bedevil the investigation by asking for frequent, time-consuming updates. Tracking Patrick’s last days leads to Aoife Hartnett, an Irish antiquities specialist who has gone missing, next to be seen dead in a car that’s careened off a cliff. Then Leyne Senior succumbs to heart problems, his lawyer is murdered while in Minogue’s care, and politicians and police higher-ups all warn Minogue off the case, which by now has expanded to include possible drug-running and probable smuggling of Irish heritage symbols like the Carra stone, which may or may not be authentic. Ever suspicious of Machiavellian attempts to usurp his investigative authority, Minogue sidesteps departmental rivals and tails the van ferrying the Carra stone to a watery end, where matters culminate in insider treachery and gunplay.
A dour look at tourism in the virtual-reality age, the power that underwriting a $5 billion foundation brings, and the flip side to Ireland’s leprechaun-and-tea-cozy charm.