Tags: stuart neville

inverarity

Book Review: Those We Left Behind, by Stuart Neville

DCI Serena Flanagan stars in her own series.


Those We Left Behind

Soho Crime, 2015, 320 pages



Blood has always been thicker than water for two Northern Irish brothers caught in the Belfast foster system, but a debt of past violence will be paid not just by them but also by those they left behind.

Ciaran Devine, who made Belfast headlines seven years ago as the "schoolboy killer", is about to walk free. At the age of 12, he confessed to the brutal murder of his foster father; his testimony mitigated the sentence of his older brother, Thomas, who was also found at the crime scene, covered in blood. But DCI Serena Flanagan, the only officer who could convince a young, frightened Ciaran to speak, has silently harbored doubts about his confession all this time.

Ciaran's release means several things: a long-anticipated reunion with Thomas, who still wields a dangerous influence over his younger brother; the call to action of a man bent on revenge for his father's death; and major trouble for Ciaran's assigned probation officer. Meanwhile, Serena Flanagan has just returned to the force from her battle with breast cancer, only to endure the pitying looks of her coworkers and a mountain of open case files. She will soon discover that even closed cases can unleash terror on the streets of Belfast.


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Also by Stuart Neville: My reviews of The Ghosts of Belfast, Collusion, Stolen Souls, and The Final Silence.




My complete list of book reviews.
inverarity

Collusion, Stolen Souls, and The Final Silence, by Stuart Neville

Thank you, everyone for your understanding and encouragement regarding my lack of writing. I did mean what I said about not having "quit" - it's just on an indefinite hiatus. In the meantime, writing book reviews at least has me writing something, and I do enjoy those too. So I'll try to resume those.

Collusion Stolen Souls The Final Silence


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Verdict: Stuart Neville's Belfast noir series is gritty and hardboiled, sour like whiskey, violent like Belfast, tough like the Irish. I enjoyed all four books, though the first was the best, and by the fourth it was starting to show some signs of wear common to most detective series. The writing is tight and the plots never went off the rails, so it is a good series for connoisseurs of crime thrillers.

Also by Stuart Neville: My review of The Ghosts of Belfast.




My complete list of book reviews.
inverarity

Book Review: The Ghosts of Belfast, by Stuart Neville

Haunted by his victims, a former killer seeks redemption by avenging them, in the grim, corrupt world of Northern Ireland after 'the peace.'


The Ghosts of Belfast

Soho Press, 2009, 336 pages



Fegan has been a "hard man" - an IRA killer in Northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted day and night by 12 ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven other of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he's going to have to kill the men who gave him orders.

As he's working his way down the list, he encounters a woman who may offer him redemption; she has borne a child to an RUC officer and is an outsider too. Now he has given Fate - and his quarry - a hostage. Is this Fegan's ultimate mistake?


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Verdict: Give this one a shot. It's definitely not boring and not badly written, Recommended for anyone who likes fast-moving, violent crime/political thrillers.