Thursday, May 14, 2009

Review: BORDERLANDS by Brian McGilloway

This edition published: 2007
ISBN: 978023002006 (HB)

Winter 2002. The body of a teenage girl is found murdered on the border between North and South of Ireland in an area known as Borderlands.

Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin is given the case. The only clues are a rather expensive looking gold ring on the girl's finger and an old photo left where she died.

Another teenager is murdered. Devlin finds a link between these killings and the disappearance of a prostitute twenty five years ago. The trail leads Devlin not only to people with links to "the troubles" but also, to his mounting horror, a suspect who is one of his colleagues.

A well written police procedural is one of the reasons I'm so addicted to crime fiction. A good police procedural will introduce you to the police,take you by the land and lead you through their investigation as they unearth clues by interviewing people, sifting the evidence and following leads. There will be a careful balance of detecting and learning about the lives of the detectives. If the author has done the job properly s/he doesn't deliberately hold back clues or have the the detectives catch the culprit in the act, just two pages before the end.

In his first novel, BORDERLANDS, Brian McGilloway has succeeded in all of the above. He has also avoided producing a door stop of a book. At just 227 pages, BORDERLAND doesn't muck about. You're straight into the story with no unnecessary padding. It's something I wish more authors would try to achieve.

If, like me, you enjoy police procedurals, you can't go wrong with BORDERLANDS. I look forward to reading more of McGilloways' writing.

1 comment:

Bernadette in Australia said...

I haven't read this one but I did read GALLOWS LANE and I'm afraid it didn't do much for me. Devlin just didn't engage me at all. But isn't it wonderful we all have different opinions :)