George V. Reilly

Review: The Dead

The Dead
Title: The Dead
Author: Ingrid Black
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 345
Keywords: mystery, noir
Reading period: 2 April–3 June, 2016

At the end of March, I read an article in the Irish In­de­pen­dent, The girl who stole my book, about a blatant case of plagiarism. A Kindle All Star author by the name of Joanne Clancy had taken two books written by Ingrid Black a decade earlier, and rewritten them in her own words, changing the names and adjectives but preserving the plot. Eilis O’Hanlon, one half of the pseu­do­ny­mous duo behind Ingrid Black, only found out about the plagiarism by accident, thanks to a tweet from a sharp-eyed reader. O’Hanlon wrote about the experience at more length in The Real Book Thief.

Saxon is a former FBI agent, now living in Dublin and sleeping with Detective Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Grace Fitzgerald. Ed Fagan, a serial killer last heard of five years ago, is back, sending letters to the newspaper and claiming fresh victims. But Saxon knows that Fagan is dead­—be­cause she killed him and buried him—so who’s passing himself off as Fagan? She just barely manages to be invited in as a consultant on the case. The killer is clever and elusive and leaves a bloody trail.

Aside from her lover, Saxon has few friends, and is not liked by the Gardaí. She keeps everyone at bay with her biting wit and hardboiled attitude. Still, she’s an in­ter­est­ing character and the plot was good.

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