No Curtain Call

Weekend Review – Irish Independent
Saturday 17th April 2010
Myles McWeeney
KT McCaffrey
Robert Hale £18.99

This book is the latest in the excellent long-running series featuring investigative journalist Emma Boylan. When the naked body of well-known property developer is found on a slab in an abandoned graveyard, everyone is puzzld as the dead man was the rara avis, a decent developer who never appeared before a tribunal. Emma’s live-in lover, Detective Inspector Jim Connolly, is in charge of the case, and as more bodies turn up, each killed in bizzarre and hugely theatrical settings, both realise a serial killer with a warped sense of religion is at work. The fact that they are both working on the case, albeit from different perspectives, puts a strain on their relationship and Emma has the added burden of an ambitious young male reporter who will do anything to get a scoop.

Myles McWeeney – Irish Independent

The Cat Trap

reviewed by Bookspot Central

reviewed by Critical Mick

reviewed by Crime Scraps

reviewed by It’s a Crime (Or A Mystery . . .)–.html

reviewed by Verbal Magazine

Article on The Cat Trap & KT McCaffrey by The Meath Chronicle Newspaper
Click here to download this article

Reviewed by the Irish Independent Sat 5th April
Weekend Review Section

In the latest of the excellent series featuring Dublin journalist Emma Boylan, Emma is facing a sea-change in her life. She’s left her husband and moved in with her lover, DI Jim Connolly, and is considering leaving the Post to become media manager for Ireland’s latest political party, The Social Alliance Party.

But when Connolly is arrested for the murder of his estranged wife Iseult and a friend, Emma is thrown into a desperate search for the real culprits, who she knows must have some link to the privileged world Iseult inhabited, a world of trophy wives who feel short-changed by their pampered lives.

Emma’s quest for the truth is hampered by the fact that some of Jim Connolly’s colleagues resent him, and are not interested in clearing his name. She knows he’s being framed, but the who and the why of it lead her into a closed world occupied by glamorous but glossily sinister women. It’s only when she herself is attacked that the authorities act and Emma manages to clear her lover.

KT McCaffrey maintains the suspense throughout, and casts a cold eye on the gloss of modern Ireland.
The Cat Trap – Review by Myles McWeeney

Bishop’s Pawn

Hardback: 224 pages (Jan. 2007) Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd ISBN: 0709082622

If it’s linguistic pyrotechnics you’re after, you’d be advised to look elsewhere: KT McCaffrey writes in a quiet, measured and very effective fashion that reflects the way his main protagonist, journalist Emma Boylan, goes about her business.

Set in Dublin, BISHOP’S PAWN is a sequel-of-sorts to McCaffrey’s first novel, REVENGE (1999). It opens with Emma discovering that the newspaper she works for is about to publish her obituary. Other newspapers follow suit, and – as corpses begin to pile up – it soon becomes apparent that the practical joke has sinister overtones. In REVENGE, Emma was one of a number of eyewitnesses to the suicide of a woman whose life had been destroyed by an elaborate cover-up partly engineered by the Catholic Church. Now the woman’s daughter has come of age, and seems hell-bent on nothing less than divinely inspired retribution.

The thrill of KT McCaffrey’s writing is the juxtaposition between that finely modulated downbeat style and the apocalyptic scenario it describes. Emma is an Everywoman who is not particularly tough or hardboiled, and whose domestic concerns run parallel to the CSI-style bodycount. The tension that builds relentlessly from the early stages is derived from Emma’s very ordinariness, which includes a penchant for logical thinking appropriate to an investigative journalist, and the outrageous machinations of the psychopathic murderess she finds herself pitted against. Certainly McCaffrey can do pithy humour – “there’s a breeze out there that’d freeze a pawnbroker’s balls” – and his multiple-character narrative that drives with tragic inevitability towards an explosive finale has all the components of a blockbuster movie script. But once the dust has settled, the abiding and poignant memory is of McCaffrey’s skill in evoking the nuances of Emma’s plight as she finds herself at the heart of a maelstrom that threatens to destroy everything she once believed in. The ability to mine the extraordinary from the ordinary, as the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh once put it, is not one that should be underestimated. BISHOP’S PAWN is a superb addition to the canon of Irish crime fiction.

Declan Burke, Ireland
June 2007

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