Black Irish

Stephan Talty. Ballantine, $26 (368p) ISBN 978-0-345-53806-2
Talty’s first foray into crime fiction, a memorable story of betrayal and vengeance, centers on a working-class Irish enclave in contemporary Buffalo, N.Y. The macabre killing of gas-meter reader Jimmy Ryan brings Det. Absalom “Abbie” Kearney to South Buffalo (aka “the County,” as in the 27th county of Ireland), where “ancestry was everything.” As the adopted daughter of legendary cop John Kearney, Abbie is both an insider and an outsider. More gruesome, carefully staged deaths occur, pointing to members of the secretive, powerful Clan na Gael as targets. Hampered by community distrust, Abbie must dig deeply into long-buried secrets that could endanger her father’s life and reputation as well as her own life. Talty (Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day) does a fine job portraying the cohesiveness of the Irish, their loyalty to one another, and their obsession with their history. Agent: Scott Waxman, Waxman Leavell Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/10/2012
Release date: 02/26/2013
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