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Archive for the ‘James Nally’ Category

 Dance With The Dead

Author: James Nally
Published: 28 July 2016
Reviewed: 2 August 2016
5 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by HarperCollins UK, Avon in return for an honest review
Description: 
Aspiring actress Elizabeth Smart lands her centre stage role: her mutilated body is found dumped in North London’s red light district.  Clasped in her hand is a piece of human hair belonging to an unidentified body of a woman murdered two weeks ago.  

PC Donal lands himself a place on the murder squad just as his unconventional brother, journalist Finton, unearths the secret double life of Elizabeth. 

The bodies mount, each clinging to the strands of hair belonging to the previous victim.  The police are convinced it’s the act of a serial killer.  But how does Donal convince them it’s not?
The only people he can trust are the victims he dances with in his dreams.  

My Thoughts & Review:
Dance With The Dead sees the welcome return of PC Donal Lynch.  For anyone not familiar with this character, the first book Alone With The Dead is utterly brilliant and well worth a read.  This can be read as a standalone, but why deprive yourself of James Nally’s writing?  

We open in early 1990s London and Donal has been moved to the Cold Crime Unit, a punishment for his behaviour at the end of book one.  The discovery of a mutilated body in the Red Light District is the perfect opportunity for Donal to ingratiate himself back in to the embrace of the Murder Squad.  His work on cold cases involving prostitutes leads him to believe there is a connection between the historical cases and this new body.  

With “help” from his journalist brother Fintan, Donal really has to be careful walking this tightrope.  When the patriarch of the Lynch family unexpectedly arrives from Ireland, a spanner is thrown into the works.  Donal already having a seriously troubled relationship with his father because of the connections to the IRA and the Troubles finds juggling the presence of his father, attempting to solve the mystery of the murdered woman and the budding romance with Zoe from Forensic Science Service almost too much to handle. 

As the case escalates the cover ups, deception, political intrigue and corruption intensify.  London’s gangsters, police corruption, IRA, Irish Peace Talks, Special Branch and paedophilia are just some of the things involved in this multi layered wonder. 

Happily, the author has continued on Donal’s sleep paralysis, and this time it enriches the story so much more.  Plagued by hangovers, his ghostly visions seem to haunt him even when awake.  Nally cleverly writes this aspect of the story to allow the reader to interpret it as though it’s in Donal’s head, a bad dream if you will, however I like to think of it as it’s his “old fashioned gut instinct” talking to him.  

Donal is a wonderful character, so thoroughly well written.  He’s a tortured soul, with an incredibly dry sense of humour and a loving for Shiraz.  His brother Fintan is another brilliant character, incredibly unscrupulous.  I was delighted to see him appearing more in this book, and found myself liking him and his antics more than I had previously.    

Once again, Nally has given the reader a book that transports them back in time.  Referencing events from the early 1990s, giving a history lesson about the Irish-British Troubles, he takes the reader right into the heart of dark atmospheric world he has scripted.  Setting and atmosphere are key in thrillers, and this book has it in abundance.

James Nally is a gifted writer, he constructs a a book that is dark, twisted, and mercilessly violent but at the same time it is rich with humour and wit (at times the inappropriateness of the humour is what makes it even funnier).  It is so cleverly plotted, layer upon layer of detail brings this story to life, the characters come alive and the atmosphere feels real.     

I cannot wait to see what James Nally comes up with next for Donal, just please don’t make me wait too long to find out!

You can buy a copy of Dance With The Dead here. 

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Alone with the Dead

 

Author: James Nally
Published: 08 October 2015
Reviewed: 02 January 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by HarperCollins UK, Avon in return for an honest review.

  5 out of 5 stars  

 

*The first in an electrifying new British detective series starring PC Donal Lynch.*

Meet PC Donal Lynch.

Irish runaway. Insomniac. Functioning alcoholic.

Donal is new to working the beat in London, trying his
best to forget that night. After all, there aren’t many police
officers who can say they have a convicted murderer
for an ex-girlfriend.

So when a woman is murdered on his patch, Donal throws
himself into the case. As the first person on the scene,
Donal can’t forget the horrific sight that faced him – and
he knows this case can’t go unsolved. But how do you
solve a case with no lead suspect and no evidence?

As his past catches up with him, Donal is forced to confront
his demons and the girl he left behind. But what will crack
first, the case or Donal?

     

Donal Lynch has a past, he can’t let go of his ex-girlfriend, despite her being a murderer and try as he might, he can’t shake the feeling he’s being haunted by someone or something from his past..  

As a PC on the beat in London, Donal is called to a crime scene that affects him more than he could imagine.  A young woman has been found murdered, it’s a gory scene and the panicking witnesses make it all the more desperate and desolate.   
Knowing that as one of the first on the scene he will have to provide a witness statement once he’s back on duty the next day, Donal heads home to think over what he saw, the witnesses he spoke to and try to block out the scene of the body of murder victim Marion Ryan.  At least that was his plan until Marion appears to him in his sleep, determined to tell him something.  
Brushing off Marion’s appearance as a dream brought on by too much Shiraz, he gets back on duty, but is soon called to disturbance.  Donal is determined to protect this victim, doing anything he can think of to ensure her safety, he advises her to call for the Police if her threatening ex-boyfriend returns to menace her, gives her his number and mentions he lives not far away so could check in on her from time to time to make sure she’s ok.  
They eventually strike up a friendship, and Donal mentions about his insomnia and the feeling that he’s being haunted by Marion, feels she’s trying to tell him something, and is convinced to go see psychiatrist (who happens to be her friend).

Donal is promoted to acting DC and is brought in on the investigation into Marion’s murder, keen to impress is superiors he sets about working hard, but his efforts are somewhat hampered by his older brother being a crime journalist.  Fintan Lynch reporting on certain things throws into question Donal’s loyalty and integrity, but he can’t do anything about it, not until unless he has proof where the actual leak is.  

The appearance of Donal’s ex-girlfriend Eve further exacerbates the chaotic situation.  Does he want her back in his life?  Why has she come back after telling him not to wait for her?  Should he just tell her to leave as his career is more important?   

Donal needs to focus, he needs to work out what Marion is trying to tell him, he needs to solve her case, and he wants to know what the psychiatrist might be able to tell him about his insomnia/seeing “ghosts” is all about.  

This is a gripping first novel, Donal Lynch is fantastic character, a tortured soul that I really liked, his dry sense of humour appealed to me, the “paranormal” element to the story worked for me.  I was a little sceptical when I heard about it and wanted to see how it would be portrayed, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Nally uses it as a form of “old fashioned gut instinct” and it really does add something to the story – I certainly will admit I wondered what Marion was trying to get across with her antics.  

The writing is good, setting this in a time of hostility in Ireland and England, the political ties make this atmospheric as well as intriguing.  The characters making comments about stereotypes prevalent at the time give an authenticity to the book.  The characters are believable, incorporating many from the police procedural set – the overzealous detective, lazy constables, guns blazing superiors, and sneaky journalists but, in this book they all have a place and work so well.

Many reviews I’ve seen have commented that there’s too back story or mention of Donal’s past and sleep problems, but for me these really explain certain things.  They add to the story and make the back story come to life.  I think it’s vital for that level of detail to make this book work and I applaud James Nally for his attention to detail and excellent writing skills. 

This is definitely a series I will be following, I can’t wait to see what Donal gets up to next and really look forward to reading more by this author.


I would have no hesitation to recommend this to fans of Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense and Crime genres.  

I would like to thank HarperCollins UK, Avon for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 8th October 2015, a copy can be purchased here Alone with the Dead (UK Kindle Version)

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