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Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review): "Kerrigan's spare, incisive prose depicts an Irish underworld and a population caught in a closed circle of poverty and violence."

Date: Sep 23 2013

U.S. readers will welcome this outstanding crime novel, a 2009 Gold Dagger Award finalist, from Irish author Kerrigan (The Rage). Danny Callaghan, out of prison for seven months after serving eight years of a 12-year sentence for manslaughter, has kept clean since his release, driving for his friend Novak, who owns the Blue Parrot pub in Dublin. When Callaghan impulsively comes to the rescue of a patron in the pub targeted by two gun-toting thugs, the crime boss who ordered the hit, Lar Mackendrick, retaliates by forcing the ex-con back into the life under threat of killing those closest to him. Kerrigan’s spare, incisive prose depicts an Irish underworld and a population caught in a closed circle of poverty and violence; short, brutal lives are the norm, and drugs offer a dangerous bridge between the haves and the have-nots. As one disillusioned policeman puts it, “We’ve managed to create a lot of young thugs who know nothing about life except how to take it.” Callaghan makes a memorable attempt to escape in this superb standalone.