Look who’s back!
Bunny McGarry….that crazy and lovable Cork rogue takes centre stage in Angels in The Moonlight, the third novel from Irish writer Caimh McDonnell. This is a stand-alone prequel to The Dublin Trilogy (which, I might add, I have thoroughly enjoyed so far), so it’s a great introduction to the man himself as he was in 1999.
The opening pages of Angels in the Moonlight set the tone perfectly for the reader. Having previously read A Man with One of Those Faces and The Day That Never Comes (Books 1 & 2 of The Dublin Trilogy), I knew what to expect and Caimh McDonnell does not disappoint.
Let me introduce you to Detective Bunny McGarry:
‘McGarry was a big lummocks of a man, with a thick Cork accent and a scruffy, second-hand look about him.. He was early thirties, six foot two and fat, but in a usable way; he carried the kind of bulk that could slam through a door or be thrown behind a punch as required. His left eye was lazy which gave people the impression he was slightly unhinged. That impression was frequently backed up by his behaviour.’
The year is 1999. Dublin is under siege from a very intelligent and very ruthless criminal gang. Raids on security vans carrying cash are becoming common place, with the money being redirected towards a possible new drug lord. This guy is young. He is mean and he has a vendetta that he wishes to see through. The Garda Commissioner right up to the Minister for Justice are involved as the situation is spiraling right out of control.
DI Fintan O’ Rourke is up against it. He knows who is behind these raids but he is unable to bring the suspect in until he has sufficient evidence. With permission from on high to increase his team, O’ Rourke knows who he wants. The one person who is in a position to face down these boyos is Bunny McGarry. But trying to persuade Bunny to get involved is another problem for O’ Rourke.
Bunny McGarry is a very complicated character. His passion is hurling, with a young bunch of lads under his coaching, in the form of a local club, St. Judes (sidenote ~ St. Jude is the Patron Saint of Hope and impossible causes). Bunny is passionate about the game and even though he’s a tough task master (actually bloody hilarious), he is determined to keep these young lads off the streets of the capital city.
What’s slightly different in this book, the prequel, is that we get a little back story on Bunny. In the Trilogy, Bunny is never really involved in matters of the heart, but in Angels in The Moonlight we are introduced to Simone, the enigmatic bartender. But Simone has a secret. Initially when she meets Bunny, she is extremely cautious and wary of him. He is very persistent in his wooing and after awhile she does open up a little to him. But Simone has a very dodgy past and Bunny soon finds himself caught up in a very complex situation.
In the meantime, his long time partner and best buddy, Gringo, is having difficulties in his own personal life. With his marriage falling apart, it soon becomes clear to Bunny that Gringo is hiding something. Bunny puts loyalty foremost in his daily life and this shines through in his partnership with Gringo. It’s not too long before another complication is soon presented to Bunny.
So with O’ Rourke using Bunny to assist in bringing down the local crime lord, with the secretive and curious Simone claiming a piece of his heart and with his partner, Gringo, in difficulty, Bunny’s life get’s very very complicated indeed.
Angels In The Moonlight is uproariously funny yet also tinged with sadness and heartbreak. Caimh McDonnell seems to strike the balance perfectly. Bunny McGarry is a most unlikely hero. Although extremely unorthodox in some of his actions. Bunny has a pure heart of gold underneath that tough veneer.
Caimh McDonnell has a flow and style to his writing that just makes the reader wanting more. The Irish black humour is evident throughout the novel, with pages just littered with witty one-liners and side-splitting laugh-out-loud moments. Oh and this time around we also have a tenacious, fearless nun in the mix, adding to the overall comic aspect of the novel.
I would like to mention though that this is a police procedural…..it’s just that Caimh approaches it in a slightly unique manner!
Angels in The Moonlight has everything you want in a good read…packed with punchlines, a fantastic storyline with some quirky personalities thrown in.
Go on……seriously…you will not regret it…
(c) Swirl and Thread
Order your copy online here.