Author: Jo Spain
Published:June 2017 by Quercus
Category: Irish Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Suspense, Book Review
Did I know it would come to this? That I was playing Russian Roulette? I would give anything to turn back time and to be with my girls. There is no shot at redemption. I am going to die. The gun is in my eye-line as the second bullet is fired. That’s the one that kills me.
Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds and his wife were enjoying a rare long weekend away. As much as Tom loved his granddaughter it would be a blessing to get good nights uninterrupted sleep. Alas, it wasn’t to be.
Despite stating he didn’t want to be disturbed while he was away Tom is summoned back to work. The body of Ryan Finnegan, a high ranking government official, is found in the tunnels beneath Leinster House, the seat of Parliament, even though it’s the most secure building in Ireland. And when Tom discovers what was found beneath Ryan Finnegan’s body he knows this is going to be a very politically sensitive investigation.
‘Call me poetic, but it looks to me like the victim was fleeing something and fell into the arms of one of God’s angels. What he was running from, I don’t know, but it may have something to do with this. We found it between the body and the statue. Not sure if it has anything to do with him, but it seems like an odd thing to be lying about.’
He produced a plastic evidence bag and held it up for Tom to examine.
The background noise of the various police officers, security personnel and medical and science professionals died away as the inspector examined the image.
Given the circumstances and the people involved this was destined to be a very high profile case. No matter who held what political office, everyone in the building was a suspect and therefore had to be interviewed, and any alibis verified. The story involves quite a large cast of characters, all with relevant back stories which are revealed as the investigation progresses. Tom and his team are hampered by the scheming, lies and deceit they meet while trying to unravel what is turning out to be a very complex and baffling case.
Jo Spain has devised a very believable and fascinating scenario and the title is very apt as there is a lot boiling beneath the surface. The political landscape is portrayed exceptionally well and the characters are crafted superbly. Even with no knowledge of Irish politics, although I’m guessing it’s much the same everywhere, the plot held my attention and the suspense built as it becomes clear the major players are in it for their own gain.
A fair number of potential suspects, each with motive, are thrown into the mix and the team come under mounting pressure to make an arrest in what is first assumed a politically motivated crime. But things are never what they seem and I wasn’t expecting the turn in the very skilfully executed, well written and credible storyline.
There’s more insight into, and development of, the main characters, particularly Tom Reynolds, with the dynamics of personal lives. I enjoy this aspect, it makes them more relatable and interesting and it didn’t affect the pace of the story, rather added some lighter moments to offset the gravity of the investigation. Great stuff! Looking forward to the next one.
About the Author
Jo Spain is the author of the Inspector Tom Reynolds series. Her first book, top ten bestseller With Our Blessing, was a finalist in the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller. The Confession her first standalone thriller, was a number one bestseller and translated all over the world.
Jo is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, a former political advisor in the Irish parliament and former vice-chair of InterTrade Ireland business body.
She now writes novels and screenplays full-time. Her first co-written TV show TAKEN DOWN was broadcast in Ireland in 2018 and bought by international distributors Fremantle.
Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and four young children. In her spare time (she has four children, there is no spare time really) she likes to read. Her favourite authors include Pierre Lemaitre, Jo Nesbo, Liane Moriarty, Fred Vargas and Louise Penny. She also watches TV detective series and was slightly obsessed with The Bridge, Trapped and The Missing.
Jo thinks up her plots on long runs in the woods. Her husband sleeps with one eye open and all her friends have looked at her strangely since she won her publishing deal.