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Booklist: "[The Midnight Choir] explores the criminal underside of Dublin and, by extension, the dark, hidden face of twenty-first-century Ireland."

Date: Feb 17 2007

The title of this crime novel might remind you of Joseph Wambaugh’s The Choirboys, but don’t expect anything like that rambunctious, hard-hitting satire of cop life. Kerrigan’s moody, unsettling tale explores the criminal underside of Dublin and, by extension, the dark, hidden face of twenty-first-century Ireland. The plot follows several stories: a woman tries to mug a pair of tourists with a syringe as her weapon; a man plans a jewelry heist; a gangster’s life is torn apart by his brother’s murder; a detective builds a case against an accused rapist. Kerrigan, a veteran journalist who lives in Dublin, presents his city as almost schizophrenic: on the one hand it’s newly revitalized, refreshed, striding boldly into the future; on the other, just under the surface, it’s seedy, falling apart, a throwback to a violent past. There is no attempt to reconcile these two very different Dublins; rather, Kerrigan makes the point that, despite cosmetic changes, the city has stayed pretty much the same. Gripping crime fiction in which the setting is unequivocally the protagonist.

By David Pitt