Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Marie C. Reviews THE RAGE by Gene Kerrigan

The Rage, by Gene Kerrigan. Published 2013 by Europa Editions.

First of all you know that Europa Editions is launching a new crime series this year, World Noir, which involves a combination of backlist and new titles of their classy, excellent international crime novels. So if you are running out of Swedes, there are Italians, English, Irish, French, Israeli and more authors from all over the world whose dark and hard-boiled adventures are sure to keep you sweating it out. Secondly, you know that although the official launch of World Noir is in April, you can read the first title in the series now, Gene Kerrigan's new book The Rage.

Kerrigan is a mystery (and Europa Editions) vet with the The Midnight Choir and Little Criminals to his name among others. He's a Dublin-based reporter and knows what he's talking about, and The Rage bristles with post-Celtic Tiger busted dreams and anger. The story concerns Bob Tidey and his investigation of the connections between the murder of a high-profile Dublin real estate shark and a small time hood; at the same time that Tidey is being frustrated by the brass and trying to keep his own life in line, a very angry man named Vincent Naylor, newly released from prison, is putting together a major heist that will have a big impact on everybody.

I'll admit the book got off to a bit of a slow start for me, but once it picked up it flew. Vincent Naylor is a very entertaining maniac, a real loose cannon who lashes out without warning and whose only human emotion is contempt- at least, until his beloved brother runs up against the law. Then we see what else he's made of, and it isn't pretty. Bob Tidey is a sympathetic if imperfect figure, a realistically flawed man who is nonetheless someone to root for, and Kerrigan's portrayal of the dashed Celtic Tiger dreams rings true. I had a lot of fun reading The Rage and I recommend it to fans of Stuart Neville and Tana French especially. I'm definitely going to keep Kerrigan's other books on my radar for a rainy day.

It's my fifth book for the 2013 Europa Challenge.