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THE DEATH OF AN IRISH POLITICIAN
By Bartholomew Gill

Avon 2000

Reviewed by J. Ashley

This book is a reprint of MCGARR AND THE POLITICIAN'S WIFE, first published in 1977, and introduces Peter McGarr, the chief inspector of detectives of Dublin, Ireland.

Peter McGarr is called in to investigate the incident of an American yachtsman in Killiney Bay who had gone overboard after being hit on the head (an accident? or an attempted murder?). Incredibly, no one saw the actual event, not the boat boy, not the steward, not the old sailor watching from his house above.

McGarr, with the help of his young and resourceful wife, Noreen, traces the American to an expensive but sterile apartment in Dublin, to a boat yard where he had his yacht's engine removed, and to an island off the west of Ireland linked with IRA activity.

Next enters a controversial politician, who has a slight problem with missing documents that he demands McGarr help him find. Suddenly the simple accident of an American traveler becomes one piece in a puzzle of terrorism, murder, and espionage. And a strange and beautiful woman weaves her way in and out of everyone's stories, another intriguing piece of an already intriguing case.

This was the first McGarr mystery I've read, and I liked it. Gill writes with a spare, yet engaging style, that leads to a fast-paced, engaging story. Noreen, fortunately, is not shuffled into the wings, but eggs McGarr on to investigate the accident and asks plenty of astute questions of her own. Once or twice descriptions dated the book at little, but that is easily overlooked in the overall story. Ireland comes to life, and as a lover of Ireland, I was pleased to revisit it between the covers of this novel.

Other books in this series are THE DEATH OF AN IRISH SEA WOLF, THE DEATH OF AN IRISH TINKER, and THE DEATH OF AN IRISH LOVER.


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