cover image Irish Linen: A Nuala Anne McGrail Novel

Irish Linen: A Nuala Anne McGrail Novel

Andrew M. Greeley, . . Forge, $25.95 (351pp) ISBN 978-0-765-31586-1

Readers who can endure the juvenile sex talk at the start of Greeley's 10th Nuala Anne McGrail novel (after 2006's Irish Crystal ) will be rewarded with a mildly entertaining mystery. When Nuala Anne, singer and sometime psychic, learns that Desmond Doolin, a peacenik young man from her Chicago neighborhood, has gone missing in the Middle East, she's convinced that he's still alive. But if U.S. government officials know Desmond's whereabouts, they're not talking, and finding him requires Nuala Anne and her adoring, dilettantish husband, Dermot Coyne, to research his path through the Middle East as well as pin down his relationship with the Catholic Church. Nuala Anne's search for Desmond is interwoven with the fictional memoir of an Irish diplomat in Nazi Germany, which Nuala Anne and Dermot just happen to be reading. Though this historical tale offers some intriguing counterpoints to Doolin's situation, the WWII chapters too often distract from Nuala Anne herself, who's supposed to be the star of the show. (Feb.)