AUTHOR: GERARD O’DONOVAN
Detective Inspector Mike Mulcahy has recently returned from an assignment with Europol in Spain and has not yet been assigned to new post when he’s temporarily posted with the sex crimes squad after a young Spanish girl is brutally mutilated in Dublin.
Because the girl is the daughter of a Spanish minister, the case is kept quiet, but it’s only a matter of time before reporter Siobhan Fallon, an old friend of Mulcahy’s, picks up hints about it and starts an investigation on her own.
Soon a second girl, Irish this time, is found with similar, religious, mutilations and the case becomes more open and more frantic. Someone in Dublin is using a metal cross to burn marks on young girls, and initially there don’t appear to be any clear clues.
As the attacks continue, eventually leading to the death of a girl, and it seems that the police have captured the man the press have started calling The Priest, Mulcahy can’t help having doubts about the guilt of man arrested. And Siobhan keeps on getting strange, religious phone calls from an unknown caller.
Only a frantic showdown brings The Priest down, only barely saving the life of the last female captured.
This was a story with a very interesting idea, and had all the hallmarks of a great thriller. It didn’t quite work for me though. The writing was just that little bit off for me, the characters a bit too stereotypical. I never got caught up in the urgency of the story, never really felt that thrill that normally hits me when I read a thriller like this.
Having said that, this was O’Donovan’s debut novel, and as such he shows great promise. If he writes a second thriller, either featuring Mulcahy again or not, I will definitely give him another go. I’ve got a feeling that his stories can only get better.