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by Brian McGilloway
Corsair, May 2018
336 pages
8.99 GBP
ISBN: 1472151283

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

When the home of a Roma family in Derry is defaced with racist slogans, DS Lucy Black is dispatched to deal with the case. But before they can make much headway she's called away to a nearby park, where a young man has been found beaten to death. There's no ID on the body, but on the back of the victim's hand is an admission stamp for a local club, one that caters to gays.

Pastor Nixon's extremist views are finding receptive ears. Most people in Northern Ireland expected a peace dividend following devolution. It didn't happen. Jobs haven't materialised, and benefits haven't improved. Moreover, the influx of "outsiders" is transforming the housing estates, leaving locals to question their identity and their prospects for the future. Fear and resentment are running high. As she struggles to bring some form of justice to the lifeless body whose identity remains unknown, Lucy Black must also try to maintain the fragile peace that masks a potentially deadly social conflict simmering just below the surface.

Combining layered sub-plots, convincing characters, and compelling dialogue, BAD BLOOD is the fourth in Brian McGilloway's DS Black series, and his ninth crime novel overall. It is an informed and thoughtful novel that addresses the complex cultural tensions that beset today's Ireland—and, it could be argued, society at large. BAD BLOOD is a fine read, and highly recommended.

§ Since 2005 Jim Napier's reviews and interviews have appeared in several Canadian newspapers and on various crime fiction and literary websites, including his award-winning site, Deadly Diversions. His own crime novel, Legacy, was published in the Spring of 2017.

Reviewed by Jim Napier, July 2018

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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