Talty's first published work of fiction. One can almost imagine this as a real world and the story is believable, until about two hundred pages in. In the beginning the novel is like a police procedural. I wanted to like this. I could quite honestly give zero rats' asses for the tortured interior life of whichever detective or doctor is investigating the crime. It surely had to be a man that came up with a story about the Irish Catholics of New York!! The community closes against her.
More gruesome, carefully staged deaths occur, pointing to members of the secretive, powerful Clan na Gael as targets. She was originally from The County, adopted as a young girl by a man who was a Buffalo police officer. Her adopted father was a legend on the force and Abbie now has to deal with a murder spree that threatens the relative peace of Buffalo and its suburbs. I tune out entirely when the inevitable showdown comes. Stephan Talty now lives outside New York City with his wife and two children. And yet another thing that impressed me was that Talty writes a female protagonist in a believable way, at least to this female reader. Then the author goes off on a tangent and brings in an unlikely secret Irish clan.
This is a very gritty crime thriller, with lots of twist and turns. There is a cleanness to the plot, and the loose ends are neatly addressed. It's hard to believe this is the author's first novel. Each new murder is gruesome in a different way, and Abbie becomes convinced that the killer is telling a personal story. The Irish majority there keeps to themselves and imposes their own moral code on their residents.
Grade: C+ This was, I believe, Mr. Adopted at a young age by John Kearny, a local police legend, she has now returned to follow in her father's infamous footsteps. The book suffers when it gets trapped into, and mired in, the Procedural Thriller Cliche of This Time It's Personal. And I gotta say I never realized there was an Irish mob. As the snow drives down and the full force of a Buffalo winter makes itself felt, a man's body is found. I grew up in a tiny, insular, paranoid, parochial though not dangerous farm community -- I can relate.
Great believable characters and a very interesting plot line. She had been adopted by a highly respected cop in this predomintately Irish community. Then the author goes off on a tangent and brings in an unlikely secret Irish clan. . And of course, because what would a detective novel be without it? The town clams up and as Absalom gets closer who will be the next to die? Black Irish is the kind of story that had me guessing whodunit until the very end, and I was happy to be proven wrong over and over again.
She is a Harvard graduate, as tough as a pit-bull in a Chihuahua cage match, who never once relents to the chauvinistic men who constantly attempt to bully her into submission. I have a tension headache from being so dang tense for most of this book! For me, the book's third act was unnecessarily problematic and destroyed the credibility of the book that had been established to that point. Just to shine it up, fix some sentence structure issues, tense changes and at least one glaring continuity error. The writing straight up hits my sweet spot between the perfect flow of tangible detail and emotional layers, all wrapped up in a gripping mystery taking place in a next-level setting. And ultimately, for me, this is what made the book less enjoyable. She ultimately learns that the crimes are likely tied to an organization in Ireland that was anti-British and used violence and murder to achieve their ends.
Sometimes, evil can simply be the turning away from a cry for help, an inaction rather than an action. I grew up in the Niagara area of Ontario, right on the border of Buffalo. Lots of twists and turns, page turning thrills, one tough ass heroine and just when you think you have it…whapow, another twist. This mystery novel is set in Buffalo, but some of the plot takes place on the Canadian side of the Falls too. She had to leave Florida because she got too emotionally involved with the victims there.
Getting there takes the reader on a wild ride. Evil is very definitely made, by man. It was full of mystery and was very difficult to try and predict what the ending was going to be, and never in my life would I have guessed that it would have ended the way that it did, and who the serial killer was! Evil is very definitely made, by man. But now something is going on in the County, men are being killed, tortured in horrible ways, and no one is talking. My parents had their honey moon at Niagara Falls and I have worked with kids in crisis, seems like me and Absalom do have a few things in common! And ultimately, for me, this is what made the book less enjoyable.