Jessie Boyle – is a 45 year old perfectionist, who works as a Criminal Behaviourist for the Irish Police. Jessie is single, and a workaholic.
Jessie’s longtime friend, Dawn Wilson, is now the Police Commissioner of Ireland. Dawn is now her boss and the leader of an elite, albeit small team of criminal investigators.
Garda Seamus Keneally is in his mid-twenties. From the west of Ireland, he has valuable local knowledge and has proven himself with a commendation for bravery on the job. He is courageous, boisterous, and constantly hungry.
Terri Kehoe is also in her mid-twenties. She is a historian who works as a consultant for the Garda Síochána. She is a skilled researcher who also has a keen intellect and a marked proficiency for digital investigation and hacking. Quiet and nervous, she has dyed blue hair and is covered with freckles that she hates.
Jessie, Seamus, and Terri are working a seemingly impossible case. Many bodies have been discovered in the Derrada Woods. These bodies are unidentifiable as there seems to be no DNA on file for them. Who were these people? WHY were they killed?
The local Garda have arrested a man, an Irish ‘traveller’, but Jessie and Seamus know early on that he is innocent of any charges against him.
When they are warned off the investigation by the Irish military, they suspect that the story behind these bodies is much more complicated than they first surmised…
The locals think that the Abhartach is responsible for the many deaths.
The Derrada Woods are three and a half square miles of dense, protected woodland.
The crime fighting team of Jessie Boyle, Seamus Keneally, and Terri Kehoe make for the perfect team in that their various strengths, combined with their real affection for one another, make them formidable adversaries. In this book the team has a seemingly unsolvable situation with many dead bodies, killed over many years, with seemingly no leads. By the end of the book, we have learned that the formidable strength of this team’s combined talents can solve anything.
The setting, Ballinamore, and the Derrada Woods are all real locations in Ireland. Locations that abound with history and atmosphere. The novel was rife with Celtic ambiance, which I found enthralling. The novel moved along at a fast pace, and the plot developed in such a way that kept me glued to the pages.
The great characterization of the small investigating team, along with the added introduction of various Irish Traveller characters made the investigation of the deaths very compelling indeed.
In short, I really liked these characters and this setting, even more than in the first book, so will be keen to read their next adventure together.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Bookouture via NetGalley at my request, for my own reading enjoyment and the writing of this review. Publication date: January 24, 2022
ISBN: 9781803140605 – ASIN: B09JL1218S – 362 pages
S.A. Dunphy (born 1973) is a child protection expert, author, journalist, musician, broadcaster and teacher. He is married, has two children, and is also a proud grandad. He worked as a child and social care worker throughout Ireland for fifteen years, and still practices on a consultancy basis. He is currently Head of the Social Care Department at Waterford College of Further Education. Dunphy is a multi-instrumentalist, performing live regularly. Shane writes both narrative non-fiction and crime fiction.