Review: Detective Inspector Michael Mulcahy has returned to Dublin from a position on a specialist drug team in Spain and is eager to find a similar spot in Ireland. But he is pulled into a sex crimes case when the 16-year-old daughter of a high-ranking Spanish official is attacked after a night outclubbing with friends. Jesica Salazar received horrible burns and can't even talk about the incident. Mulcahy serves as a translator and isn't made welcome as a team member by anyone in the unit including its leader, Claire Brogan. He's given assignments tantamount to busy work and makes an enemy early of a sergeant on the case when he stops an incident between the sergeant and a Spanish diplomat. Mulcahy is likeable and strong-willed albeit slightly embittered, but not the always-drinking policeman portrayed in many Irish mysteries.
The other main character in this thriller is Siobhan Fallon, a headstrong journalist, always on the hunt for a good story and willing to do just about anything to get it. She has an insecure side when it comes to personal relationships that softens the image of an uncaring hard-nosed journalist. She and Mulcahy met years earlier when she was on a story and reacquaint themselves, but Siobhan senses there is more to the story of the girl who was attacked and starts asking difficult questions. Things get even more interesting when a second girl is attacked and burned. The Sex Crimes Unit makes an arrest, but Mulcahy doesn't think it's the right person but no one wants to hear about it.
Novels about serial killers are a dime a dozen, but Gerard O'Donovan has a different take, and I enjoyed this story immensely. He gives readers two realistic characters in Mulcahy and Fallon and a serial attacker who is thoroughly and disturbingly believable. The Priest as he's nicknamed uses some sort of cross-shaped implement to burn his victims, which can be seen if one examines the burns closely as Mulcahy does. Great characters combined with a storyline with twists and turns and tension among the police force make for a thrilling read. The Priest is the first in a series about Mulcahy, and I hope Fallon makes appearances in future tales as well.
Special thanks to Katherine Petersen for contributing her review of The Priest.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Katherine Petersen — All Rights Reserved
Reprinted with Permission
Location(s) referenced in The Priest: Dublin, Ireland
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The Priest by Gerard O'Donovan — A Mike Mulcahy Mystery
Publication Date: March 2011
List Price: $25.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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