TO KILLASHEA by Norman Flood


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As he reported to the police, Paul Avery--hung-over--awoke that morning at Killashea House to find himself alone with the dead body of his host, film mogul Jack O'Shay--and then to wonder where the other members of the house party had gone off to: O'Shay's straying, second wife Simone had, it turns out, left for France with her stepdaughter, the emotionally unstable Carol; O'Shay's business associate (and Simone's playmate) Henri Duval had also decamped for France; and Carol's chum Wayne, a pushy American living in Paris, was another who made an early-morning channel flit. Strange, reasoned Detective Dermot Quaid, who invites them all back to attend the funeral (and answer a few questions). Meanwhile, Quaid's problems are compounded by the well-intentioned but graciously incompetent local Irish cops on hand and by the clear proof that someone had been tampering with items in the crime scene. By the time the patient Quaid sorts through this and mulls over that (everyone had reason to despise O'Shay), the murderer has no recourse but to write a tell-all note and commit suicide in the Killashea mansion library. The French farce aspect--all those midnight debunkers--is quite amusing, but the story soon almost drowns in red herrings, then finally sinks under the clichÉd suicide. Still, there's a satirical hand just under the surface here, and one hopes to see more of it in the author's second venture.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's