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Jess Kidd has written a very funny, very colorful mystery set in a small town in County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland. Mahony is a 26-year-old man living in Dublin who was raised in an orphanage there. He receives a clue about his birth parents, and heads to Mulderrig to try to unravel the mystery.
The story alternates between the present (1976) and the time of his birth (1950 and earlier). The characters are brilliant, with Mrs Cauley, a geriatric actress masterminding the investigation. The cast includes many ghosts who also populate the village alongside the living. Jess Kidd's dialogue captures the lyrical slang of Ireland (often a bit salty, so don't get your bollix in a twist!) and her constant similes had me laughing out loud. I do have to say that the story gets to be almost overwhelming about 3/4 of the way through the book and I found myself often skipping back a minute or two to make sure I didn't miss something. There is an incredible amount of action and many characters involved in it. As a warning, there are several gruesome descriptions of killings throughout the story: while this book has much humor throughout, it is a dark mystery at its core.
This story is brilliantly brought to life by Aiden Kelly's narration. He has a different voice for each character, and seamlessly switches from the dead impish little girl, Ida, to the laid-back Mahoney, or the sanctimonious false piety of Father Quinn and Mrs. Kelly. This book was meant to be heard in an Irish brogue.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
Aiden Kelly does a superb job performing and narrating this imaginative novel, lushly and brazenly written about basically the stranger who comes into a small town and cleans up its little bit of corruption for it. There is a bit of horror, fantasy, mystery, and some Clint Eastwood Wild West genre going on to tell this story set in a little town in Ireland with a delightful array of characters that Aiden Kelly masterfully distinguished and embodies. This novel thrills, amuses, and entertains.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful