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47 Seconds by Jane Ryan

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller

By Swirl and Thread

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‘Respect was everything. Conditioning less so. There I was, jaw pumped on nothing, words chewed until they split, husks of anger suppressed then broken, granular in my mouth, sitting on the grooves of my tongue until they felt like hairs in my mouth and I spat…’

Bridget Harney is a member of An Garda Siochána, working out of Dublin’s Harcourt Street, home of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB). Bridget is tough. Having left a career in law to the disgruntlement of her father, a man who holds great respect in Irish legal circles, Bridget feels the need to constantly prove herself to others. Bridget has the reputation of a gung-ho attitude and her superiors have called her up for it on more than one occasion, but Bridget gets the job in hand done, garnering respect from many colleagues.

Bridget and her partner Kay are asked to attend a scene at Dublin Port where a container appears to have been tampered with. Frustrated that this is the type of job they are been asked to handle, Bridget is furious. But as they are soon to discover there is an awful lot more to this case than initially expected. They find a frozen human arm in the carcass of a pig but no other trace of remains is evident. With so little to go on, who is the victim and why?

Bridget is obsessed with a local crime gang-lord Sean Flannery, a man she has previous connections with. She is convinced that he is somehow involved in all of this, but with no leads or evidence to connect him to the scene, Bridget has a hard job convincing her superiors to take her allegations seriously. Bridget is unrelenting and with the assistance of Kay, they delve deep into their research looking for any slip up by Flannery, anything that will tie him to this victim.

Bridget Harney is a very complex individual. She works very hard, never allowing herself to stop and consider the impact of the crimes she has witnessed on her own self. As this case begins to escalate, Bridget is faced with some very difficult and traumatic demons to deal with. In her work life and home life, Bridget has challenges that she must overcome if she is to stay afloat. Her obsession with this one man could be her downfall.

47 Seconds is a very impressive start to a new series. The character of Bridget Harney is wonderfully depicted. When we get a glimpse under her shell, we see a very real person with integrity and passion, and with a hope that she can make a real difference. Described using words such as ‘mercurial’‘unrelenting’ and ‘challenging’, Bridget Harney is a force to be reckoned with, facing her fears on a daily basis with great fortitude and conviction.

47 Seconds hooks you in from the get-go. Jane Ryan’s writing carries you along at speed as you enter a world of vengeance and greed, a world where power and money are the ultimate goal. I did find myself getting a small bit confused toward the end but it is left open for the sequel, so I have no doubt all will be revealed as the series continues! I’m always fascinated when I close the cover on a book like this and think of it as a debut. Jane Ryan writes like a seasoned author, with a great flow and a very intriguing narrative. I am really excited to see where this series goes to and to see what’s in store for the intimidating, yet warm-hearted, Detective Bridget Harney.

(c) Swirl and Thread

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