BLACK IRISH

  • ·From the urban dictionary: A mostly antiquated term that was used predominately in the U.S. and Canada refering to people of Irish descent who have black hair. 
  • · From Wikipedia: Black Irish is an ambiguous term sometimes used (outside Ireland) as a reference to a dark-haired phenotype appearing in people of Irish origin. Opinions vary in regard to what is perceived as the usual physical characteristics of the so-called Black Irish: e.g., dark hair, brown eyes and medium skin tone; or dark hair, blue or green eyes and fair skin tone. Unbeknownst to some who have used this term at one time or another, dark hair in people of Irish descent is common, although darker skin complexions appear less frequently.

BLACK IRISH is a psychological crime thriller by Stephan Talty. I am hopeful we will see many more novels from this author with protagonist Absalom “Abbie” Kearney. I think everyone knows I am Irish. But I must admit, I don’t like Irish writers. If you strapped me to a table and pulled out my teeth with a pliers until I agreed to read James Joyce or J. P. Donleavy, I’d be toothless. I have managed to read Benjamin (John Banville) Black’s Quirke series, but it was sooooo darkly depressing. And I hate books written by Americans about Ireland or the Irish – they almost always get it wrong. But this book was highly recommended and it is about Irish Americans. I got it, more so I could say after a chapter or two, this is plastic paddy crap. Boy was I wrong. Not only did the book have me on the edge of my seat right until the very last page, I learned something. The term Irish Republican Army did not originate in Ireland but in Buffalo, NY. I did not believe it when I read it but who would say something so outrageous unless it was true. And it is! (The term Irish Republican Army was first used during the Fenian raids in Canada during the 1860s. BUT the soldiers organized in and departed from Buffalo.) Of course the research it took me to confirm it had me on so many sites about terrorism that I really, really don’t want any LEO getting their hands on my computer! And the author, whose parent’s are from County Clare, used one of my favorite lines/pet peeves in the book. When one cop is describing how very Irish another was, he talked about playing that Irish music that would go into all that hillbilly fiddling and he was told: “Hillbillies got their music from the Irish, not the other way around.” (Read Bringing It All Back Home  if you can get your hands on a copy.) And best of all, Mr. Talty did not write “in accent” for those characters who were actually from Ireland. I really HATE when (mostly American) writers do that. They always get it wrong. (Like Father Andrew Greeley’s books. Gets on my last nerve. And really, I find it a bit racist, when you come right down to it.) So, my Irish rant over, if you want an outstanding thriller to read, you won’t go wrong with BLACK IRISH. ♣♣♣♣♣

BLURB from Amazon: In this explosive debut thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of Empire of Blue Water, a brilliant homicide detective returns home, where she confronts a city’s dark demons and her own past while pursuing a brutal serial killer on a vengeful rampage.

Absalom “Abbie” Kearney grew up an outsider in her own hometown. Even being the adopted daughter of a revered cop couldn’t keep Abbie’s troubled past from making her a misfit in the working-class Irish American enclave of South Buffalo. And now, despite a Harvard degree and a police detective’s badge, she still struggles to earn the respect and trust of those she’s sworn to protect. But all that may change, once the killing starts.

When Jimmy Ryan’s mangled corpse is found in a local church basement, this sadistic sacrilege sends a bone-deep chill through the winter-whipped city. It also seems to send a message—one that Abbie believes only the fiercely secretive citizens of the neighborhood known as “the County” understand. But in a town ruled by an old-world code of silence and secrecy, her search for answers is stonewalled at every turn, even by fellow cops. Only when Abbie finds a lead at the Gaelic Club, where war stories, gossip, and confidences flow as freely as the drink, do tongues begin to wag—with desperate warnings and dire threats. And when the killer’s mysterious calling card appears on her own doorstep, the hunt takes a shocking twist into her own family’s past. As the grisly murders and grim revelations multiply, Abbie wages a chilling battle of wits with a maniac who sees into her soul, and she swears to expose the County’s hidden history—one bloody body at a time.

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