This is the fourth in the Dublin Murder Squad series, and French's writing is as good as ever. Yet while the book pulled me along, and the mystery was a good one, I still felt a few things were lacking.
The story is of Mike "Scorcher" Kennedy, paired with newbie Richie on a high-profile murder investigation. A family in the suburbs has been killed, and of course the goal is to figure out whodunit and lock them up.
I like Kennedy as a narrator, though I don't find him as compelling as some of the others in previous books in the series. (This series has a different central character for each novel.) It feels a bit as though French was reaching for unhappy circumstances for him—a mother that committed suicide and a sister who's flat-out insane. And the sister thing sort of falls to nothing in the end. Which is maybe meant to be poignant; there's a lot of that in this book too. Maybe the point is, things just are and there isn't always a way to fix them, you just have to learn to live with them.
And then again, the flip side of that is not to try and live with things that you shouldn't. That lesson is the heart of the murder case.
Meanwhile, without giving anything away, I'll say the turn with Richie is unfortunate, and though I can see where at a stretch it's not entirely out of the character French built, I still feel it doesn't quite fit.
Still, it's a solid book. Immersive and atmospheric. I enjoyed it.