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Thursday 21 December 2017

‘Undertow’ by Anthony J. Quinn

Published by Head of Zeus,
14 December 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-78669602-1

Irishman Tommy Higgins is living in Andalusia in Spain when he receives a letter from his mother back home in Dreesh, Republic of Ireland. She begs him to come home where a Detective Carey has visited her apologising for the way the intelligence people had treated Tommy. Carey is going to reopen the investigation and needs him there. Tommy flies home.

However, it's not long before Carey's body is washed up on the shores of Lough Neagh, is it suicide or murder? Inspector Celcius Daly is brought in to solve the death.  His enquiries lead him to Dreesh and a police sergeant Peter McKenna. There he learns all about the illegal activities of a former I.R.A. volunteer and shrewd business man Tom Morgan. The whole village seem to be involved in his smuggling and money laundering.

Daly suspects Morgan and his operators are behind Carey's death but how can he prove it?  It's not long before Special Branch is involved and Day realises how much conflict there is between Northern and Southern Ireland. Also puzzling him is the real identity of a Robert Hunter supposedly from Special Branch who seems to be involved but remains elusive. Daly can find no trace of him, but his name keeps cropping up and he was said to have worked with Carey. Also, what is the significance of the Green and Blue Fishing Club, the name of which keeps being mentioned. The more Daly searches for the truth the more he discovers it involves huge sums of money and many very prominent people.

When more deaths follow and even Daly's life is threatened, it becomes a matter of urgency to solve the crimes before he too becomes a victim.

A very well written and atmospheric book. The reader gets a real impression of the treacherous bogs surrounding this part of Ireland, it almost sucks one in!

The descriptions of the conflicts really come to life and is certainly food for thought when Brexit is considered.
Recommended especially for those with an interest in Ireland and its troubles.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell
Anthony J Quinn was born in 1971 in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, and after completing an English degree at Queen's University followed various callings - social worker, organic market gardener, yoga teacher - before finding work as a journalist and author. Disappeared, his first novel, was picked by the Times and the Daily Mail as one of their books of the year, and was nominated for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. On its US publication it was shortlisted for a Strand Critics Award, as selected by book critics from the Washington Post, the LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Guardian.  Quinn works as a reporter in the wilds of County Tyrone. His short stories have been short-listed twice for a Hennessy/New Irish Writing Award.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf  (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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