Dead Man’s Sins by Caimh McDonnell is a continuation of McDonnell’s critically acclaimed bestselling Dublin Trilogy, albeit the fifth book in this trilogy! Described as a tale that ‘mixes high-octane thrills with a distinctly Irish wit’, Caimh McDonnell has once again taken his readers on an hilarious journey with my favourite hurling manager, member of An Garda Síochána and Corkman, the irrepressible Bunny McGarry. I have read and reviewed all of Caimh McDonnell’s books and what I love about every single one of them is the humour, the dialogue and the incredible characters. I have enjoyed every single journey with this crazy crew. As I mentioned already, Dead Man’s Sins is the fifth book in the trilogy and, fingers crossed I have this right, it is the sequel to Angels in the Moonlight, which in itself was a prequel to The Dublin Trilogy of A Man with One of Those Faces, The Day That Never Comes and Last Orders
“There’s a sixteen year gap in Bunny McGarry’s story between when Angels in the Moonlight ends and A Man with One of Those Faces begins. This book is the start of that timeline/story being filled in.” – Caimh McDonnell
Bunny McGarry is on a sabbatical, taking a much-needed rest after recent events. He wants to spend more time with his U12 local hurling team coaching them to greatness with his assistant manager and loud-mouth, twelve-year-old Deccie Fadden. But Bunny is also thinking about his past and how he has ended up in this current situation when trouble yet again knocks on his door. The mother of his old friend and, now deceased, partner Gringo, is in trouble and about to be evicted from her home. Bunny made a promise to Gringo that he would look after his mother but he has also made a promise to himself that, at all costs, he would protect his friend’s reputation. Bunny jumps in head first without thinking about the bigger picture and soon finds himself the unwitting suspect in a murder investigation surrounding the death of a local Dublin crime boss.
Bunny McGarry is the hero for the ordinary person. He is unapologetically fearless to the point of recklessness. You would almost expect him to disappear into a telephone booth, do a few twirls and step out wearing a superhero’s cape. Although his behaviour is mostly frustrating for his colleagues, he does garner a certain respect. He plays outside the rules and, using his unique and rather unorthodox methods, he gets results.
Caimh McDonnell has created a character that has garnered a cult following. It is so very easy to imagine Bunny McGarry, and all the characters that Caimh creates, including Sister Bernadette from the order of The Sisters of the Saint.
‘Sister Bernadette was five foot nothing of a bespectacled nun from Tipperary. In his life, Bunny had met ham-fisted brutal savages, cold-blooded professional killers and straight-up insane psychopaths, but none of them had the ability to be as intimidating as Sister Bernadette…..Bunny guessed she’d been forged from the melted-down remains of old nuns mixed with equal parts shoe leather, iron and venom’
The descriptions are strong, the dialogue sharp and the story, as always, is pure entertainment. I quoted from Angels in the Moonlight in my review of same and I am going to repeat this quote here as it truly is an apt description for Detective Bunny McGarry, one that provides a very strong visual of the man himself.
‘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’
When The Dublin Trilogy finished I thought that I would hear no more of the life and times of Bunny but how wrong was I. Caimh has continued to produce more stories about Bunny McGarry, interweaving them around the original trilogy, expanding the backstory and providing all fans with more hilarity and witticisms. Caimh McDonnell now also writes under the name C.K McDonnell, releasing The Stranger Times, which is a brand new direction for him but also a very highly entertaining read.
These books are police procedurals so there is a serious element to some of the storylines but, using typical Irish dark humour, Caimh provides every reader with guaranteed entertainment.
Bunny McGarry is, as I have said in the past, an enigma, a pure force of nature. Created from the mind of an Irish comedian, he has become an institution and Caimh McDonnell is so deserving of all the marvellous reviews that are written about his books. Reading a Bunny McGarry tale has become a habit in my life, one I thoroughly enjoy and will always want more of. Dead Man’s Sins has sated my thirst, for now, and is a truly wonderful addition to this brilliant series that literally keeps on giving.
My Verdict – Chaotic. Addictive. Priceless. Lots of fun.
(c) Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)
Order your copy online here.