Written by Mark O'Sullivan

Review written by Adam Colclough

Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.

Transworld Ireland
RRP: £12.99
Released: 25th April 2013
Trade Pbk Original

A property developer with links to one of Ireland’s infamous ‘ghost estates’ is murdered at his home in an affluent Dublin suburb. There are few people mourning his loss and a whole parade of suspects, to identify the killer DI Leo Woods and DS Helen Troy must untangle a complicated know of family secrets and twisted relationships.

The first crime novel from award winning poet and short story writer Mark O’Sullivan is a promising addition to the ever growing canon of ‘Celtic noir.’ Its atmosphere is by turns sombre and tense, a mood only enhanced by a backdrop of an Ireland that has gone from boom to bust in record time.

O’Sullivan has created a pair of investigators with suitably meaty back stories. In the case of Sergeant Troy it is the familiar, although well handled here, story of a police officer with an addict brother and unresolved ‘issues’ with a deceased parent.

Leo Woods, by contrast, presents a more original and intriguing prospect, the first fictional policeman, to my knowledge anyway, to be a sufferer from Bell’s palsy, a disease that has left him physically, and spiritually disfigured. He is also a conflicted, brilliant and contradictory figure with familial issues of his own. By making him a collector of masks O’Sullivan is clearly suggesting this is a character with several layers waiting to be peeled off onion style in subsequent books.

This is an assured debut offering a strong hit of crime fiction mixed with a good jolt of social observation; it has the makings of a promising new series.

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