Reckoning With the Criminal Element   1 comment


There’s a difference between mysteries and crime novels, which is evident in Gene Kerrigan’s The Rage – and not just because the Crime Writer’s Association Award for the Best Crime Novel of the Year is advertised on the cover.

Kerrigan is a master storyteller whose characters, good and bad, aren’t black and white. The cops have a lot of gray areas, and the less-than-desirables do, too. Even, a nun falls somewhere in the middle, which has nothing to do with her habit.

Detective Sergeant Bob Tidey is part of the Dublin Garda (police), but not one of those strictly-by-the- rules kind of cops. He’s mostly driven by common sense, which tends to create some heartache for him and his superiors. At the other end of the law-and-order spectrum is Vincent Naylor, recently released from prison where he’d served time for a brutal assault, now in the midst of planning a major heist. Ironically, Tidey and Naylor never encounter one another, but their paths cross frequently –thanks to Maura Coady, a retired nun. Make no mistake, she’s no Saint.

Fraud, drugs, murder and misguided romance fill Kerrigan’s novel. Tidey is assigned to investigate a case that, ultimately, has only the thinnest a connection to Naylor. In fact, the robbery Naylor plans is gripping in its detail, but has nothing to do with Tidey; that is, until Maura Coady notices an unknown car parked on her quiet street. This is no mystery, but seeing the pieces of the story come together is captivating.

The Rage
Four Bookmarks
Europa Editions, 2012
313 pages


One response to “Reckoning With the Criminal Element

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  1. How timely your review is. Now, I must read The Rage. Thanks!

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