Brian McGilloway's Northern Irish Western
I don't know if Brian McGilloway likes Westerns, but the tumbleweeds practically whistle through the opening pages of his second novel, Gallows Lane. A mysterious figure from the past returns to town. A lawman is sent to suggest that he turn right around and head back out. And how about that title:
"(T)he lane along which the condenmed were led — Gallows Lane — still exists. The local kids believe it is haunted. They still claim, in an age when such beliefs are largely forgotten, that on a Halloween night the chains of the condemned can he heard rattling and, if you listen closely enough, you can hear the wails of the accused and the creaking of the long-dead branches."That's not the only place McGilloway invokes death and myth. But then, the man has an eye for evocative locations, redolent of mystery and myth, even in the midst of a contemporary police procedural. His first novel, Borderlands, opens with a body dumped right on the border between two lands so recently divided. One can't get much more suggestive than that.
© Peter Rozovsky 2009