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Bartholomew Gill - The Death of an Irish Tinker: A Peter McGarr Mystery (Peter McGarr Mysteries)
Publisher: Avon Books | 1998-09 | ISBN: 0380725797 | PDF | 256 pages | 1.07 MB
Investigating the 1984 murder of Mickalou Maugham, a Traveler well liked and admired for his gentleness of spirit and his playing of the uillean pipes, Chief Inspector Peter McGarr focuses on Desmond Bacon, known as the Toddler, who is the sadistic head of the drug trade in Ireland. Mickalou, missing for weeks, has been found dead at the top of a giant sequoia tree in County Wicklow, and Biddy Nevins, his wife, a former addict and sidewalk artist, has fled from Ireland, fearing both the Toddler and the possibility that one or more Garda members may be working with him. Twelve years later, Des Bacon catches up with her, and shootouts, home invasions, car chases, and a high body count result, as he tries to protect his turf and avoid prosecution.
As he does in the rest of this series, Gill develops stories on two levels--the immediate action and excitement of a specific mystery, focusing on some lesser known aspect of Irish life (in this case, the Traveler community), and the stories and relationships of his continuing cast of characters as they develop during the series. Ruthie Bresnahan and Hugh Ward, whose discovery of each other was a huge and often hilarious part of an earlier mystery (Death of a Joyce Scholar), have now had a years-long relationship, which is about to be tested during the action of this novel.
Gill’s intensely realized descriptions--of the abuse of a Traveler by the Tod, of an addict in need of a fix, and of a teenager trying to fit in at a dance, for example--make his scenes come alive, while his understanding of the vagaries of police procedure gives a sense of reality to his less than perfect detectives. McGarr is a strong and caring main character whose sense of justice and honor are paramount (even if it means bending the rules), while his well developed cast of likable and amusing subordinates, who continue to grow in successive novels, provides the reader with long-term rewards throughout the series.