Murder most foul in modern Dublin
18 April 2010 Reviewed by Daragh Brophy
By Arlene Hunt
Hachette Books Ireland, €14
“The latest in her series of detective novels centring on the adventures of QuicK Investigations, Arlene Hunt’s Blood Money is a fast-paced trawl through the murky world of illegal organ transplantation.
We’re introduced to the first of the two main protagonists in a violent opening sequence.
Pavel Sunic is a Bosnian criminal on a crusade to find those responsible for the death of his sister, who died after a botched surgery to remove one of her kidneys.
Back in Dublin, private investigator John Quigley is sought out on a seemingly unrelated matter by the mother of a well-respected doctor who’s apparently taken her own life.
Throughout their respective missions, the two men are kept at opposite ends of the story, as their paths eventually overlap.
The Sunic character is essentially an unreconstructed thug, but one with his own moral code. He doesn’t hesitate to torture and kill as he goes about his hunt for justice and revenge, though the reader is kept more or less onside due to the relative purity of his motivation.
Quigley’s methods, by contrast, are methodical and by the book. If a piece of information comes his way, he works it doggedly until he can figure out the next step of the investigation, eventually building upto a clearer picture of what’s going on.
Overall, it’s a fine crime caper. The various plot strands weave together nicely as the story gathers pace, aided by the short chapters of pared-back prose. The dialogue is functional and snappy, even if it occasionally fails to ring true – for instance, the term ‘naff-off’ is used in earnest at one point, even though actual profanities occur elsewhere, and there are a couple of passages of ‘banter’ between male characters that Guy Ritchie would blush at.
These minor complaints aside, it’s quite the page turner.
T he characters are simply drawn, but no less compelling for it, and the setting of a contemporary post boom Dublin is one that many readers will recognise as authentic.
Long-standing fans of the QuicK Investigations series may miss John Quigley’s partner at the firm, Sarah Kenny, who we’re told went missing in mysterious circumstances some time before the start of this latest instalment.
Her disappearance and Quigley’s attempts to piece together what happened to his fellow PI form a sub-plot here.
Latecomers to the series won’t feel left out, as there’s enough happening elsewhere, but for hardcore fans there’s a clear hint at a sequel. “
This was from yesterday’s Sunday Business Post.
Guy bleedin’ Ritchie? He’s ‘avin’ a laugh mate, innit?