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Black Irish (2013)

Black Irish (2013)

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3.96 of 5 Votes: 4
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0345538064 (ISBN13: 9780345538062)
ballantine books

About book Black Irish (2013)

Rating: 4* of fiveThe Publisher Says: In this explosive debut thriller by the New York Times bestselling author 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.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.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.My Review: The Doubleday UK meme, a book a day for July 2014, is the goad I'm using to get through my snit-based unwritten reviews. Today's prompt is to discuss one's favorite crime novel, in honor of some British crime-novel beano.Despite there being naggingly annoying lapses in continuity at three or four points, I was sucked into the violent and rage-filled vortex of this book from the get-go. The story, a standard one, is told at a breathless pace in direct, unpretentious language. The setting is seared into my memory. I feel as if I could find the park, drive the streets, point to the places I'd read about. I'm sure as hell not stopping for the cops there, Absalom/Abbie excepted.The family secrets, the community guilt, the larger and wider implications of the vicious and bloody killings, make this procedural far more than an afternoon's entertainment. It's not Art, it's excitement! It's brutal and tough and doesn't give a flying fuck if your girlie-girl feelies are all bent. It's too busy setting you up for the next bashing!I liked the hell out of it. It's good, every now and then, to sluice the nicey-nice from one's brain with a bracing dose of mean as fuck because I wanna be. There is NO oxytocin released in the reading of this book. Adrenaline, yes; androgen, oh my yes. We won't go into the testosterone release figures. Post-menopausal women are cautioned that they might find themselves assuming male secondary characteristics.The sensitive members of the party are STRONGLY cautioned not to so much as handle this book. Don't do it, don't even contemplate it. Not for yinz.Fans of the 87th Precinct, we found you a new writer to follow! This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Reviewed by Sara O'Connor for www.gliterarygirl.com4.5 out of 5 StarsReceived a free copy in exchange for an honest reviewContains NO spoilersTHE GIST: A deep and gritty look at the Irish American community in Buffalo New York, set around several gruesome serial killings that kept me up at night reading under the light of the moon. This page-turner had me white knuckling my Kindle during some of the most gruesome murder scenes I have read in a while. My stomach literally twisting in knots with the all the crafty plot twists. The female protagonist was not only über intelligent, but also incredibly strong and I enjoyed every moment spent canvasing her tight-knit community, searching for a brutal killer. If you are in the mood for a gripping, scary and smart thriller that throws an bare-knuckled punch that will leave you begging for a large shot of Jameson, Black Irish is a sure bet.THE LOWDOWN: This book opens with a bang. Sucking you in like a twister, unrelenting and violent, leading into a story that took me to dark places interspersed with subtle rays of light. I became hooked immediately and although the pacing was not always as quick or as steady as I would have liked, the end far exceeded my expectations.Who knew Irish American’s residing in Buffalo were so tight-knit. I always reserved that stereotype for Boston Southies, but apparently, the closed-minded and insular thinking of isolated immigrant communities reaches outside the territories famous for this type of stereotypical behavior. Black Irish takes you inside a community that wants justice, but doesn’t trust outsiders to bring it, even shutting Irish Americans out of the circle whose ancestry hails from politically unpopular regions of the “Old Country”. The author sheds light on this troublesome mindset by interweaving it seamlessly into the plot. Several times, I found myself stopping to inform my husband (Sean O’Connor) about how racist or close-minded his people were, then rushing back to the book in a panic to find out more. For those of you who will undoubtedly rush to tell me that I am overgeneralizing…don’t. It is mere fodder. I watched enough Jersey Shore to know a countries American counterparts are not representative of an entire culture.Although great, the best parts are not the historical elements, or the blood that drips from the pages after a new killing is revealed; it’s the female lead Abbie. She is encompasses everything I want from a leading lady. 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. She doesn’t break, budge or cry…she fights and it is extremely exhilarating, refreshing. Her voice never waivers – not once – and her relationship with the secondary characters are spot-on. You root for this one, partly because she overcomes tremendous adversity, but mostly because she is so much smarter than everyone else that she deserves to win.If you have a weak constitution and don’t like books about serial killers or Irish people, I would steer clear of this one, because it is jam-packed with both. But if deep, smart and thrilling books where you actually learn something are your thing, Black Irish will no doubt have you double-checking your locks and reaching for a warm glass of Guinness.Sláinte!

Do You like book Black Irish (2013)?

The first chapter made me want to put the book down and return it to the library. But I decided to give it a few more chapters. I'm happy I did. It was a good book, an odd story line. It moved along at a good pace. I had a problem with Abbie's relationship with Billy. I found it very bizarre and unrealistic. I also felt the ending was quickly put together. It seemed the author threw all these facts into a bucket and pulled them out for a fast explanation. To be honest it even got a bit confusing. I got a bit frustrated at this. And how in the last several chapters Abbie came to the conclusions she did, there were no explanations....And the character did she even come up with that thought? No rhyme, no reason. I think the author could have extended the book by several chapters to explain this and just not throw it out at the reader. So, in my opinion the ending was not well put together. That is why I am liberally giving it 3 stars.

This was, I believe, Mr. Talty's first published work of fiction. Talty’s South Buffalo is insular, paranoid, parochial, dying and dangerous. I grew up in a tiny, insular, paranoid, parochial (though not dangerous) farm community -- I can relate.I really came to like the Harvard educated Buffalo police detective, Absalom “Abbie” Kearney. I'd read another of her adventures, if Mr. Talty feels he has one in him.Ratings: Again... *sigh* I'm vexed by the lack of half stars. If I could, I'd give it 3 and a half. Generally, if I really enjoyed an aspect of the book, I'll just grade up. In this case, I won't. As it is, as much as I enjoyed the character and his world building -- this needed to go through one more edit and revision. Just to shine it up, fix some sentence structure issues, tense changes and at least one glaring continuity error. I'm not nit-picking; it's a good first work of fiction, but at times it was a bit too uneven and "cinematic". I have no doubt that he'll grow as a fiction/thriller writer and I, for one, will gladly go along for the ride.
—David Monroe

Excellent, fresh, authentic crime thriller! I used to read a lot of these but then they all started to sound the same. I tired of authors trying to outdo one other with outlandishly gruesome psychotic murderers and gave up on the genre altogether for a while. In fact, I generally read only indie books these days, so sick am I of formulaic fiction. But I saw Black Irish listed at a temporary bargain price and took a chance. The thing that sold me on it was that I am married into the Irish cop scene and have spent many an evening at the local Hibernian Hall or Gaelic Club as a welcome outsider. Talty writes of this ethnic enclave wonderfully. He masters police prose equally well. And yet another thing that impressed me was that Talty writes a female protagonist in a believable way, at least to this female reader. Most men who try this turn me off their fiction. But I had no problem relating to Detective Abby Kearney. She is strong and brave and, though highly intelligent, ruled by understandable passions. The killer turns out to be not at all what I expected and is in fact diffused among the many sharp-edged characters. The tragic conclusion is deeply human and heartbreaking in its own way, resolving in a cleansing exhale of a denouement. I understand Mr. Talty is known for his non-fiction and that Black Irish is his first novel. Personally, I prefer to read fiction in my spare time and I hope Mr. Talty continues to write it. Well done!

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