Mysterious Book Report HurtHurt by Brian McGilloway

Constable & Robinson LTD, £17.99, 404 pages, ISBN 978-1-4721-1113-5

One of the up and coming new authors who’s gaining a lot of credibility because he writes great mysteries with a political twist is an Irish writer named Brian McGilloway. He lives and works in Derry, Northern Ireland, in an area known as the borderlands, because it abuts the Republic of Ireland. It is an area with unique, even extreme, sensibilities due to the protestant and catholic violence between British Loyalists or Prods, and Catholic Republicans, the Provo’s and others who desire a unified Ireland. It is a complex and long-disputed issue which has broken out in open warfare between the groups, most recently in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, and referred to as ‘The Troubles.’

Because he is able to write high energy crime dramas in which he weaves elements of the troubles and their aftermath, I usually step up and buy the British first editions of McGilloway’s novels because I don’t want to wait for American ones. His newest is no exception.

Hurt, by Brian McGilloway begins with the discovery of a young girl’s body, tied to a railroad track. She’s dead, her throat cut, and the hunt begins for the killer. Detective Sergeant Lucy Black is the lead investigator, but the only clues she has to work with are on the girl’s cell phone in the form of her last phone calls. Lucy, who’s haunted by one of her old cases where the killer escaped after she identified him, is under intense scrutiny from a new boss, pressuring her for results. But results aren’t easy to come by. There’s a reluctance of witnesses to talk to the police. Then another young girl goes missing and it becomes a race against time to save her life as Lucy discovers evil in the unlikeliest places and serves justice in a unique way. Look for the book to be released in the USA in early summer . . . just in time for relaxed summer reading. It’s a page turner you won’t want to miss.


John Dwaine McKenna