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Black Irish [a novel]
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  Library Journal Review

Best-selling historical chronicler Talty's (Escape from the Land of Snows; The Illustrious Dead) first novel follows Det. Absalom "Abbie" Kearney as she aggressively hunts down a serial killer in the insular, forbidding city of Buffalo. There a deformed psychopath is decimating the ranks of a mysterious Irish club with ties to the IRA. Though the writing is deeply descriptive and there is a carefully crafted atmosphere of despair, implausibility reigns. From Abbie's lone-wolf procedural approach to her stumbling onto her father's involvement, things are too far-fetched. The maudlin tone and overreliance on South Buffalo's near-mystical Irish history further detract. Despite the limiting material, first-time narrator David H. Lawrence XVII works wonders, gracefully differentiating characters in a clear, resonant voice. VERDICT With delivery this good, odds are that many fans of thrillers will overlook the book's flaws. ["To say this book is an utterly compelling read would be an understatement, although the necessary background information on the Irish Republican Army and Gaelic groups is a bit dense for readers unfamiliar with the subject.... Fans of exciting and unpredictable thrillers will add this one to their must-read list," read the more enthusiastic review of the Ballantine hc, LJ Xpress Reviews, 3/15/13.-Ed.]-Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Middletown (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Talty's first foray into crime fiction, a memorable story of betrayal and vengeance, centers on a working-class Irish enclave in contemporary Buffalo, N.Y. The macabre killing of gas-meter reader Jimmy Ryan brings Det. Absalom "Abbie" Kearney to South Buffalo (aka "the County," as in the 27th county of Ireland), where "ancestry was everything." As the adopted daughter of legendary cop John Kearney, Abbie is both an insider and an outsider. More gruesome, carefully staged deaths occur, pointing to members of the secretive, powerful Clan na Gael as targets. Hampered by community distrust, Abbie must dig deeply into long-buried secrets that could endanger her father's life and reputation as well as her own life. Talty (Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day) does a fine job portraying the cohesiveness of the Irish, their loyalty to one another, and their obsession with their history. Agent: Scott Waxman, Waxman Leavell Literary. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER <br>In this explosive debut thriller by theauthor of Empire of Blue Water, a brilliant homicide detective returns home, where she confronts a city s dark demons and her own past while pursuing a brutal serial killer on a vengeful rampage. <br>Absalom Abbie Kearney grew up an outsider in her own hometown. Even being the adopted daughter of a revered cop couldn t keep Abbie s troubled past from making her a misfit in the working-class Irish American enclave of South Buffalo. And now, despite a Harvard degree and a police detective s badge, she still struggles to earn the respect and trust of those she s sworn to protect. But all that may change, once the killing starts. <br>When Jimmy Ryan s mangled corpse is found in a local church basement, this sadistic sacrilege sends a bone-deep chill through the winter-whipped city. It also seems to send a message one that Abbie believes only the fiercely secretive citizens of the neighborhood known as the County understand. But in a town ruled by an old-world code of silence and secrecy, her search for answers is stonewalled at every turn, even by fellow cops. Only when Abbie finds a lead at the Gaelic Club, where war stories, gossip, and confidences flow as freely as the drink, do tongues begin to wag with desperate warnings and dire threats. And when the killer s mysterious calling card appears on her own doorstep, the hunt takes a shocking twist into her own family s past. As the grisly murders and grim revelations multiply, Abbie wages a chilling battle of wits with a maniac who sees into her soul, and she swears to expose the County s hidden history one bloody body at a time. <br>With Black Irish, Stephen Talty stakes a place beside Jo Nesbo, John Sandford, and Tana French on the cutting edge of psychological crime thrillers. <br> Praise for Black Irish <br> <br> Abbie Kearney is one of the most intriguing new suspense protagonists in memory, and Black Irish marks the captivating start of a brilliant thriller series. Tess Gerritsen <br> Luxuriantly cinematic . . . a compulsively readable crime thriller . . . Move over V. I. Warshawski; Buffalo gets its own crime novel heroine. The Buffalo News <br> A suspenseful debut novel with a circuitous plot . . . Black Irish is simply a riveting read. Booklist (starred review) <br> Talty shows his chops when recounting Buffalo s] Irish roots. Kirkus Reviews <br> Talty does a fine job portraying the cohesiveness of the Irish, their loyalty to one another, and their obsession with their history. . . . A memorable story of betrayal and vengeance. Publishers Weekly <p> From the Hardcover edition. "
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