A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.
Disappeared, by Anthony Quinn (Mysterious Press/Open Road):
The past comes back to haunt--with particular urgency and drama--the present in Irish author-journalist Quinn’s first novel, for even though Northern Ireland no longer resonates with the echoes of bombs and gunfire, the much-promised peace has not yet been realized in some quarters. Inspector Celsius Daly is called to a rural home, from which David Hughes, an elderly gent afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, has lately vanished. Hughes’ sister and caretaker fears he has wandered off and into trouble. But as the inspector investigates, he discovers that Hughes isn’t the quiet country putterer he seems. Instead, he’s part of a larger and much more complicated story connected to the long-ago slaying (by the Irish Republican Army) of an alleged political informer, Oliver Jordan, and the more recent torture murder of an ex-intelligence agent. The fact that said agent placed his own obituary in a local newspaper, prior to his death, makes this whole affair particularly bizarre. Daly--a detective still wrestling with a recent separation from his wife and more capable at his job than at handling his personal life--adds further to the stakes in this mystery by inviting Jordan’s answers-seeking son into the case. It soon becomes apparent that the missing Hughes harbors secrets in his deteriorating mind that others don’t wish to see released. Quinn enriches Disappeared with Irish history and he does an excellent job of ratcheting up the tension as this yarn progresses. I’m pleased to hear that he’s currently working on a sequel, Border Angels.
READ MORE: “‘Ya Wanna Do It Here or Down ohe Station, Punk?’: Anthony Quinn,” by Declan Burke (Crime Always Pays).