The Glorious Heresies

Lisa McInerney. Crown/Duggan, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-0-8041-8906-4
Winner of the 2016 Baileys Prize, Irish author McInerney serves up an aptly titled debut novel that is biting, brash, and bleak. Set in Cork during the recent recession, the story revolves around the murder of a young sot named Robbie O’Donovan, who is accidentally done in by the religious relic–wielding mother of notorious crime boss Jimmy Phelan. To cover his mother’s mistake, Phelan hires a Tony, a “cleaner,” to sort out the mess, but he is a widower and an abusive drunk with six kids. Soon Tara Duane, Tony’s gossip-mongering ex-madam neighbor, gets involved, as does one of Tara’s old employees, Georgie—a coke snorting, on-again/off-again prostitute who half-heartedly searches for her disappeared ex-boyfriend, Robbie O’Donovan, while biding time with a religious cult to maybe get clean. Overly circuitous at times, the violence-riddled story flails under the weight of its complex setup in parts, but the sections involving Tony’s teenage son, Ryan, pick up the slack. The scenes describing Ryan’s earnest and sex-fueled relationship with his girlfriend are some of the most authentic and engaging in this gritty book, as is the boy’s free fall into drug dealing and debauchery after shouldering one too many of his father’s goofs. McInerney displays a clear knack for dramatic flourish and witty turns of phrase. Agent: Ivan Mulcahy, Mulcahy Associates. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/20/2016
Release date: 08/09/2016
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 371 pages - 978-1-4447-9885-2
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-4447-9886-9
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-4447-9888-3
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4447-9887-6
Hardcover - 978-0-8041-8908-8
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-8041-8907-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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