Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Conorable mentions

A few more remarks on Conor Brady's A June of Ordinary Murders before I move on to The Fatal Touch by Conor Fitzgerald:
  • I was fairly certain I'd figured out the mystery halfway through the novel. I was less than half right, which I take as a tribute to Brady's plotting (and this was his first novel, after a long career as a journalist, so perhaps he'll only get better.)
  • Like many another fictional police protagonist, Brady's Detective Sgt. Joe Swallow clashes with superior officers, has a problematic romantic life, and drinks a lot (He favors Tullamore whiskey.) Without giving away much, I can say Brady's handling of each is free of cliché, the first two with more edge than some authors bring, the last with more nuance.
  • Brady leaves the way open for, at the least, a dynamic subplot should he decide to bring Swallow back in future books.
  • And, finally, Swallow's use of then-young tools of forensic science leads to a fine joke in the novel's final pages. The speaker is a plodding yet dangerous superior studying for a promotional exam:
    "‘Do you know what… I’m readin’ here? There’s a fella out in India… He has a theory that in a few years we’ll be able to identify every single human bein’ be the ridges on their fingertips. He’s writin’ about what he calls the science of fingerprints.’ Did ye ever hear the like… he must be a right eejit.’

    "Swallow thought he could already see the gold braid glinting off Boyle’s new uniform."
© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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