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Two Kinds of Blood by Jane Ryan

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller

By Swirl and Thread

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‘He has my mother! Seán Flannery has my mother!’

Two Kinds of Blood by Jane Ryan is Book 2 in the Irish Crime Fiction series featuring the feisty Detective Garda Bridget Harney. Following on from Book 1, 47 Seconds, it is published with Poolbeg Press. Two Kinds of Blood has been brilliantly described as ‘Narcos meets The Wire’ by Irish crime fiction writer Patricia Gibney and, as a huge fan of the Netflix Narcos series, I would have to agree!

Following on from a traumatic and life-changing event, Detective Garda Bridget Harney was transferred from the DOCB (Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau) to the Sexual Assault Unit. Not many of her colleagues knew the reason for it and Bridget was happy enough for things to remain that way but now she wants back in. When news is out that a massive drug shipment is en route via Dublin, all hands are on deck, including Bridget, due to her in-depth knowledge of Sean Flannery, her nemesis, a man she is committed to bringing down.

This potential seizure is particularly significant as it is linked to a well known Venezuelan business, the Fuentes Cartel. Bridget has her own sources locally who provide her with new and vital information relating to the drug importation, sending Bridget and her colleague, Liam O’ Shea, off to Kilkenny. An isolated farm is their destination, one where they hope to find Flannery. But it seems that Flannery and his gang are always one step ahead. An enormous drug containment is seized, a drug processing plant is uncovered and a woman’s body is found….no sign of human activity, all detected almost too easy. Bridget knows Sean Flannery is involved but to what level? When Sean Flannery goes missing, Bridget finds herself in Barcelona, alone, looking for the man, whose enemies are already hunting him down.

‘As she races to the Catalan capital, the Cartel and Spanish police collaborators are already tightening a fatal net around the Dublin criminal. Who will get to him first – and will Bridget choose justice over revenge?’

It’s a fast and furious race against time for Bridget and I can safely say that my heart-rate jumped as I devoured the pages in front of me. The scenes from Spain were most definitely like something out of a TV series, with my imagination going into overdrive visualising the chaos and sensing the fear that Bridget was experiencing. Jane Ryan writes with a ferocious speed, completely drawing the reader right into the scene as it develops.

‘He turned as if to run back to the Mossos. I grabbed the chain. ‘You’re handcuffed and I’m a police officer. You will not be shot!’ I pulled him around. ‘Follow me! You’re not going to be gunned down in an alleyway. It’s too good for you, Seán Flannery.’

Bridget Harney is a formidable enemy. Her dogged perseverance at times causes frustration among her colleagues but she also garners a certain respect. Her relationship with Sean Flannery is quite a complex one, one that really has completely taken over her life. Being the daughter of a highly respected, and now retired, Judge leaves Bridget with a permanent chip on shoulder. She loves him dearly but their relationship is very fragile. With her mother in a nursing home, Bridget senses life collapsing in on her a little. When possible unsavoury information about her family is revealed, Bridget has to dig even deeper into her reserves to balance everything and to keep her focus on the end game.

Two Kinds of Blood is a tense, fast-paced and highly entertaining read. I have read the first book in the series, 47 Seconds, and, although it’s not necessary, I do recommend that you should read it first to get the full impact of the story and to properly flesh out the characters. There is a lot going on in these books, with Jane Ryan most definitely keeping her readers on their toes.

Two Kinds of Blood is a great addition to this series. I do love Bridget Harney. She is tough and very principled, believing that justice must prevail and must be done at all times. She is fearless, loyal, outspoken, and very passionate about her job.

Two Kinds of Blood is a compelling page-turner, a book that kept my attention all the way through. I was at once gripped, perplexed, dumbfounded and thrilled. I’m well looking forward to seeing what Jane Ryan has planned next for the tenacious, uncompromising and determined Detective Garda Bridget Harney!

(c) Swirl and Thread

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