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Burning Matches by Paul FitzSimons

Article by Swirl and Thread ©.
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‘Loyalty can only go so far…’

Burning Matches is the debut novel from Irish novelist, screenwriter and playwright Paul FitzSimons and was published on May 1st 2018.

A very complex tale of relationships and deviousness, weaving itself around a rather intricate police procedural, Burning Matches introduces us to a new face in Irish crime fiction – one that I hope to see more of again in the future!

Detective Kieran Temple is at home, asleep with his wife Yvonne, when he receives a phone call from an old work colleague Mia Burrows. It’s 4am and Mia is frantic and afraid…she has just stabbed and killed her boyfriend.

Immediately Kieran arrives on the scene creating fractious feelings among other guards present. Mia Burrows is no longer his partner and this case is way outside of his jurisdiction, but for Kieran he is here for Mia. They have a checkered history together, but Kieran truly does not believe that she would be capable of killing a man on purpose, or would she?

Initially it’s all very cut and dry to Kieran, this is a simple case of self-defence. Mia is distraught by her actions, claiming that Daniel, her ex-boyfriend, gained illegal entry into her house. When she asked him to leave he refused, when she threatened calling the guards, he attacked her and she stabbed him with the first item she grabbed off her kitchen counter.

Over the following days Kieran finds himself delving deeper into Daniel’s life, interviewing some of his friends and trying to piece together a picture of what Daniel was really like. Why did he break into Mia’s house? Why assault her? Had Daniel any previous charges of assault against him?

As Kieran soon discovers there is more to this than meets the eye and his life is about to get a little more complicated.

Alice and Jude are a young married couple trying to make a success of their lives. Jude is a renowned chef with dreams and aspirations of owning his own restaurant. One day this dream becomes a reality for Jude but he soon finds himself a little out of his depth. Jude is a chef, not a business man and his lack of experience starts to show.

Alice, meanwhile, considers herself a bit of a matchmaker and is forever pairing off friends and associates that she feels could make the perfect couple. Not always successful she sees nothing wrong with playing around with folks emotions and it all seems to be a game to her. She is a very strange character, one I certainly did not warm to. I found myself getting quite irritated by her dismissive attitude and her wreckless approach to the lives of others…a credit to the writing I would say!

As the pages turn, there is more revelations behind their marriage which make you question what exactly is going on and what, if any, link do they have to Daniel’s death?

As Mia continues to proclaim her innocence Kieran unearths a pandora’s box of lies, deceit, duplicity and some very dodgy relationships.

Paul FitzSimons takes his readers down a very winding road with many twists and bumps along the way. Burning Matches contains quite a convoluted plot-line hidden among it’s pages, which can overwhelm at times, but it does all tie up neatly at the end, leaving you wonder what happens next!

Paul FitzSimons is a new voice in Irish Crime Fiction and I expect we will see a lot more of his writing in the future.

A very promising start to a new series!!

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.

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