Barlow by the Book

John McAllister. Portnoy (Dufour, dist.), $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-909255-11-1
Set in 1960, McAllister’s poignant sequel to 2013’s The Station Sergeant reveals the troubles beneath the placid surface of the Northern Ireland town of Ballymena. Sgt. John Barlow, an incorruptible member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, has a lot on his plate. He must contend with known enemies, such as District Insp. Laurence Harvey, as well as unknown ones. He has friends to look after, such as the Honourable Edward Adair (“gentleman, and tramp by profession”) and crook Geordie Dunlop, whose predilection for minor thefts lead to suspicion of murder. On the domestic front, Barlow’s wife, Maggie, recently tried to kill him, and his 17-year-old daughter, Vera, is rapidly becoming a woman. When thieves hit empty houses, then guarded ones with deadly results, Barlow’s investigation uncovers shocking truths about some of very respectable townspeople as well as his own family. How he chooses to use or not use that information is as entertaining as his determination to thwart both thieves and Harvey. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/2015
Release date: 08/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
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