An NYPD detective travels to Ireland to investigate his own family’s past in this “smart, textured, immensely readable” mystery (The Washington Post Book World).
Neil Hockaday’s father died in World War II before his son could ever know him, and now the police detective is visiting Ireland to meet his last living relative and try to fill in the blanks of his family history. But while he’s on vacation, death isn’t taking a holiday. The apparent suicides of a retired priest and two cops—and an Irish woman’s death in a bombing—combine to keep Hock busy on both sides of the Atlantic in this rich, riveting police procedural, filled with “lively and literate” dialogue, from an Edgar Award–winning author (The New York Times Book Review).
“Unusual and engrossing.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Dense and vibrant . . . as charming as an Irish brogue.” —Publishers Weekly
“One of the most lively and memorable novels to come out this year.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
Drifting like a fine mist between legend and legacy, between dreams and waking, this dense and vibrant third work in a series is as charming as an Irish brogue and initially as difficult to penetrate. New York City cop Neil Hockaday, seen before in Sea of Green , journeys to Ireland with his love Ruby to visit his last remaining relative, terminally ill Uncle Liam. But as Neil and Ruby fly into Dublin airport, back home in Hell's Kitchen, explosive events occur. A retired priest, a family friend from Neil's youth, shoots himself; a young Irish copper plunges naked to his death from an apartment; and Neil's cop pal Davy Mogaill, being interrogated about the bombing death of his Irish wife, answers by placing his own handgun to his ear. While Hockaday dreams about a heroic father he never met (he died in WW II), his flesh-and-blood da's past is gradually revealed, disclosing how the Irish hatred for England allowed a group of wartime academics to embrace fascist principles. Antique pistols figure in several deaths on both sides of the pond; sometimes an ancient emblem adorned with poetry is found near the body. Adcock, who here seems as offbeat a stylist as Jerome Charyn, renders most conversations in broad accents and over glasses of stout ale. While the cautious reader may often wonder whether Hockaday is in fact asleep or awake during his investigations, the narrative remains convincing. This latest in the Hockaday series represents a major step forward for novelist Adcock.