cover image Drown All the Dogs: A Neil Hockaday Mystery

Drown All the Dogs: A Neil Hockaday Mystery

Thomas Adcock. Pocket Books, $20 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-77041-9

Drifting like a fine mist between legend and legacy, between dreams and waking, this dense and vibrant third work in a series is as charming as an Irish brogue and initially as difficult to penetrate. New York City cop Neil Hockaday, seen before in Sea of Green , journeys to Ireland with his love Ruby to visit his last remaining relative, terminally ill Uncle Liam. But as Neil and Ruby fly into Dublin airport, back home in Hell's Kitchen, explosive events occur. A retired priest, a family friend from Neil's youth, shoots himself; a young Irish copper plunges naked to his death from an apartment; and Neil's cop pal Davy Mogaill, being interrogated about the bombing death of his Irish wife, answers by placing his own handgun to his ear. While Hockaday dreams about a heroic father he never met (he died in WW II), his flesh-and-blood da's past is gradually revealed, disclosing how the Irish hatred for England allowed a group of wartime academics to embrace fascist principles. Antique pistols figure in several deaths on both sides of the pond; sometimes an ancient emblem adorned with poetry is found near the body. Adcock, who here seems as offbeat a stylist as Jerome Charyn, renders most conversations in broad accents and over glasses of stout ale. While the cautious reader may often wonder whether Hockaday is in fact asleep or awake during his investigations, the narrative remains convincing. This latest in the Hockaday series represents a major step forward for novelist Adcock. (Jan.)