cover image The Rage

The Rage

Gene Kerrigan. Europa (Penguin, dist.), $17 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-60945-092-2

Taut prose distinguishes Kerrigan’s accomplished crime novel set in contemporary Dublin. Det. Sgt. Bob Tidey faces a moral quandary after investigating a banker’s murder. Former nun Maura Coady, who keeps watch over a quiet suburb, makes a fateful phone call, while within the city’s criminal underbelly, swaggering Vincent Naylor and his brother, Noel, are preparing for their next big heist. Kerrigan (Little Criminals) touches on broader social and political issues, from the Irish housing bubble to the long shadows cast by abuse within the Catholic church, which deepen rather than distract from the main action as it speeds ahead with wheels shrieking, preparing the reader for an ending whose inevitability doesn’t diminish its explosive impact. While these Dublin streetscapes lack the hard glamour of L.A. noir, Tidey emerges as a prototypical Raymond Chandler hero, holding fast to his moral compass in a corrupt world that demands compromise even from good men. Agent: Melanie Jackson, the Melanie Jackson Agency. (Feb.)