ireland

Jan 21, 2017

Mia, "Rabbit", Hayes is a fighter and the very heart of her adoring family. But so is the cancer slowly taking over her body. Rabbit, however, refuses to acknowledge that her diagnosis has just rapidly plummeted or share the news with her 12 year old daughter, Juliet. Neither of them is ready to say goodbye. Rabbit's family is amazing, particularly her strong tough Irish "Mammy" Molly, who fights like a tiger for her daughter's life. Rabbit's father, Jack, and her siblings, Grace and Davey, are believably drawn characters. At times, the imminent loss of Rabbit threatens to push the family

Green Hell

By Ken Bruen
3
Rated by Don M.
Jan 21, 2016

It’s not often that you open a book to find the main character quoting author James Crumley. But Ken Bruen is clearly a student of the genre; references to the history of hard-boiled fiction keep dropping, which is a very nice treat for the reader. 


Jack Taylor, a functioning alcoholic, has been kicked out of “the Guards” (Irish National Police) and now makes his living as a private detective. The story is set in Galway and begins when Boru Kennedy, a young American, comes to Ireland to research his thesis on Beckett. But, with Jack’s help, Boru becomes sidetracked by Taylor’s pursuit of a

Dark Times in the City

By Gene Kerrigan
3
Rated by Don M.
Jul 14, 2015

Hardboiled has been transported to Ireland and the result is thoroughly enjoyable! 


Kerrigan writes with a spare, bare bones style that packs a punch. At a bar in Dublin, the path of ex-con Danny Callaghan crosses with small-time crook Walter Bennett. Bennett is the target of murder attempt gone wrong, and Callaghan is inadvertently involved. The criminal kingpin who ordered the hit decides to use him for his own purposes. Why Callaghan is being used isn’t immediately apparent but he has ended up in the middle of a gang war. Callaghan must now walk a tightrope between the criminals and the

Broken Harbor

By Tana French
4
Rated by Megan C.
May 21, 2014

In a spotless suburban home in Ireland, a man and two children are found dead, and a badly-wounded woman is rushed to the hospital. They are residents of Broken Harbor, a nearly-abandoned new development left in the lurch after the housing crisis. This is how Detective Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy finds the Spain family, and has his chance to be top detective on the murder squad. In addition to taking on the biggest case of the year, he has a rookie, Richie Curran, to break in.


Detective Kennedy, a scrupulous man who holds fast to the rules, seems to be the one for the job. His new man, Curran

Iced

By Karen Marie Moning
3
Rated by Robin D.
Sep 4, 2013

Imagine a world that doesn’t know its own rules.  No cell phones. No Internet. No stock market. No money. No legal system. A third of the world’s population wiped out in a single night and the count rising by millions every day.  The human race is an endangered species.”  So starts Iced, the first book in Karen Marie Moning’s Dani O’Malley trilogy.  This supernatural contemporary fantasy is a follow-up to the bestselling Fever series and begins chronologically after the Fever series’ final book, Shadowfever.  However, unlike the Fever series, the main characters of this novel are 14-year-old

May 14, 2013

I didn’t expect to love the book Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood, by Anne Enright.  The silly, cutesy title and cover photo inclined me to shrug my shoulders and hide what I was reading in public.  And the first essay was a strange, confusing thing that I still haven’t untangled.  Luckily, I didn’t start with the first essay.  I started with the introduction. And in the introduction, Anne Enright won me over.  She says, about women who write about motherhood, “It is the way they are both smug and astonished.  It is the way we think we have done something amazing, when we have done no

May 2, 2013

Whenever I’m asked for a “gentle read” my go-to author is Maeve Binchy. Her novels are standalone, not a series; so the order in which they are read doesn’t matter. There is no sex, language or violence in Binchy’s books. They are about the dramas of daily life: relationships with parents, children or spouses; your place in a community; identity and what you want to do with your life.

The characters in Binchy’s stories are very likeable. They are real people with flaws, who make mistakes and are easy to root for. The problems and issues they grapple with are believable, with a twist. Binchy

Oct 5, 2012

“Scorcher” Kennedy, top detective in Dublin’s Murder Squad, has been assigned a high priority, high profile case.  His bright and innovative partner is a rookie to the squad and eager to prove he is worthy.  Broken Harbor, now known as Brainstown, is a housing development hit hard by the recession.  Most of the half-built new homes have been abandoned with only a few occupied.  The residents of one home are struck by tragedy when the father and two young children are murdered and the wife is critically wounded.  But things don’t add up—a large animal trap is found in the opening to the attic

May 7, 2012

After a half decade of werewolves, vampires, ghosts, fallen angels and faeries, I assumed there was nothing new under the paranormal sun—at least, nothing new that would capture my interest.  But Maggie Steifvater, author of the Shiver trilogy, proved me wrong with her latest young adult stand-alone, The Scorpio Races 

Races takes place on a cold island in the North Atlantic at some point in the past.  The capaill uisce—vicious and wild water horses—emerge from the ocean each year, and are raced along the beaches of Thisby on the first of November.  Orphan Kate Connolly finds her family and

Apr 17, 2012

The Secret  Scripture follows elderly mental patient Roseanne McNulty as she recounts the events that shaped her life during the Irish Civil War. At the start of the war, Roseanne is a beautiful young woman, full of curiosity and vivacity, who struggles with the inexorable forces of war, religion, gender imbalance and social upheaval. Though multiple tragedies befall Roseanne, her story is free of self-pity and blame. It’s an incredible story, actually, so expertly told that it is sublime pleasure to read of it. And her story isn’t the only story. Her doctor’s narration is interspersed with

In the Company of Others by Jan Karon

By Jan Karon
4
Rated by Sandra S.
Apr 20, 2011

In this second book in The Father Tim series, Father Tim and Cynthia have traveled to a B & B in Ireland for some R & R and soon become involved with owner’s families and other guests. There is a bit of mystery with a break-in to Cynthia’s room and later a stolen painting. And there are various relationship issues going on. Another interesting element is the reading of a nineteenth century medical doctor’s journal, written by an ancestor of one of the B & B owners, which gives history of the place and intertwines with the present day story. I have read all of The Mitford series and Home to

Feb 4, 2011

Karon’s books may not be great literature but for a relaxing read it’s nice to know that at least one Christian author writes with a little style and substance. Call me a snob, but this author is the only such author I will read. This is the second book in her “Father Timothy” series, a sequel to her original bestselling “Mitford” series. Listening to the audio, with its talented reader, the Irish accents made the setting come alive. Father Timothy and his wife Cynthia, on a long-awaited vacation, stay in a country Inn inhabited by a cast of very interesting characters. There are long-standing

Jan 26, 2011

Set in Ulster in the early 20th Century, this is the tale of the “Irish issue” from the perspective of the O’Neill family – Eileen in particular. Her father raised her to be a warrior, and she had to fight for her family, her homeland, her job and her love. During the many dark days she held onto her dream of reuniting her family in The Yellow House, her childhood home painted bright yellow by her father. Eileen and her family suffer multiple tragedies, but as a warrior she perseveres. This book should appeal to readers who enjoy Irish history, family dynamics and a little romance.

Faithful Place by Tana French

0
Rated by Jane R.
Jan 18, 2011

Frank Mackey and Rosie Daly were in love and planned to escape together to England. But Rosie didn’t show up for their rendezvous so Frank left home alone. Two decades later he returns to the Dublin neighborhood “Faithful Place” where he grew up and immediately becomes immersed in the family craziness and dysfunction he ran away from so long ago. Rosie’s suitcase has been found. Two murders are discovered and Frank must solve them. This book immerses the reader in the lives and culture of an Irish family “on the dole” and the author seems to inhabit the person of middle-aged Frank in all his

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, by Roddy Doyle

0
Rated by John Mark E.
Feb 19, 2010

So many authors get childhood wrong that when an exception comes along it seems like nothing less than a miracle. Among them: J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, and Irish novelist Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

Doyle's 1993 novel is narrated by (of course) Paddy Clarke, a 10-year-old boy growing up in Ireland in the 1960s. As other commmentators have observed, there really is no "authorial presence" -- that is, the voice of Roddy Doyle the novelist is subsumed by the guileless voice of Paddy Clarke the boy. The child has no filter; he recounts

In the Woods by Tana French

0
Rated by Lora F.
Jan 22, 2010

In the Woods by Tana FrenchThis book, Tana French's debut novel, is a mystery set in a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. Most of the story takes place in the present, but there are important references to an event that happened in August 1984. That 1984 event happened to the book's main character, Adam "Rob" Ryan, who is now a detective partnered with Cassie Maddox. The complex relationship between Cassie and Rob is at the heart of the story; indeed, I think it IS the story. All the mysterious subplots about the crimes against children, opposition to a road that is proposed to come through and change their Dublin suburb