Reviews

Splendid review of The Branchman in The Irish Times

Declan Burke reviewed The Branchman in Saturday’s Irish Times (1st December 2018) and offered this wonderful appraisal o the novel:

The Branchman

Poet Nessa O’Mahony publishes her debut crime novel with The Branchman (Arlen House, €15), which opens in 1925 with Michael Mackey, a detective officer in the newly formed Garda Special Branch, sent to the Garda barracks in Ballinasloe “to root out subversion”. Mackey, a veteran of numerous conflicts, isn’t fooled by the beauty of rural Galway: “It all looked innocent enough, but who knew what old animosities were lurking in those green fields?” There’s enough animosity to deliver a murder, certainly, and Mackey quickly discovers himself investigating the theft of a cache of stolen arms. O’Mahony is particularly strong on the everyday detail of a stranger negotiating a hazardous landscape – the character of Mackey is loosely based on her own grandfather, Michael McCann – and delivers a series of brief, intense chapters which generate a ferocious pace. Most fascinating, perhaps, is O’Mahony’s evocation of the wider political backdrop, that fragile, imperfect peace that took hold in the wake of the War of Independence and the Civil War.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/crime-landscapes-of-us-frontier-hypnosis-big-phama-and-galway-1.3707003?fbclid=IwAR3kqXUhqqwo0wuN1FNZJMRP5Emi1HGvNvxyD4ymrbujZK-GnIqTYS0eJQI

 

Having spent 15 years in journalism and public relations, Nessa O’Mahony was one of the first writers in Ireland to complete a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing in 2007. Her verse novel 'In Sight of Home' was published by Salmon in 2009. Her third collection of poetry, 'Her Father's Daughter' was published by Salmon in 2014. Her latest work, an historic crime thriller entitled The Branchman, is published by Arlen House in September 2018.

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