Marked Off

Don Cameron. New Island (Dufour, dist.), $23 paper (252p) ISBN 978-1-84840-415-1
The murder of Dublin housewife Barbara Ryan at home in broad daylight—a yellow pencil driven into her neck—propels Irish author Cameron’s workmanlike first novel. Det. Danny O’Neill spearheads the investigation, but he himself is traumatized by the unsolved murder of his wife three years earlier. O’Neill and his officers, including profiler Christine Connolly, are still digging into Ryan’s murder when a second victim, a woman from the same neighborhood, is discovered. Now O’Neill realizes that they are dealing with a serial killer, highly unusual for Dublin. The glimpses into the killer’s psyche and technique, interspersed at regular intervals, are well handled, though not groundbreaking. While the ultimate face-off between O’Neill and the killer plays out a bit too abruptly, this is a solid look into the grind of a police investigation, the community tensions that must be managed, and the struggle that the cops go through to overcome the often frustrating personalities of their colleagues while on the hunt. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/14/2015
Release date: 05/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
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