Will He Avenge His Family’s Double-Murders Before the Killer Guns Him Down? Gallows Field by Brendan
Title: Gallows Field
Author: Brendan Gerad O’Brien
Genre: Thriller, Historical Fiction
Ireland 1941. A crowded pub. The music is loud. The singing is louder. Joe McCarthy is shot dead. And no one sees a thing.
His brother-in-law Eamon Foley and Garda Sergeant Liam Edge are the first on the scene. And Foley is horrified when he thinks he sees a face from his past in the crowd.
One year ago Foley was working in a notorious backstreet hotel in Dublin when some money and a ledger went missing. The hotel’s sinister director Leo Maranus got the notion that Foley was responsible. Obviously, he wanted them back.
Is Joe’s killing a message that they’ve caught up with Foley at last, and they’re coming to take back what they think he stole from them?
Foley wonders if Alex Cassidy, the very strange, very pretty girl who helped him get away from Maranus during the initial chaos, could be responsible for leading them to him now. Had her relationship with the much older Sgt Edge questioned her loyalty to Foley? She needed money. Was she willing to trade him in for a cash reward?
But Sgt Edge won’t even entertain the notion that Joe’s murder is in any way linked to Foley’s past. Joe was a notorious philanderer, involved with numerous women over the years. Edge is adamant that Joe was just a victim of some jealous husband or rejected lover. They should be looking nearer to home.
Then Foley’s sister Mary is found dead in the town park.
And his son is taken by a nun in a car.
Desperate to get answers, Foley illegally obtains some evidence that proves who’s behind the incidents. But the crusty Sgt Edge is adamant that they will follow proper police procedure and dismisses it.
With dreadful results.
Is Joe the target of past transgressions or is it just a coincidence both his sister and brother-in-law are shot dead?
Joe is shot in the middle of a crowded pub in Ireland and no one saw a thing. When Foley and his partner arrive, the grissly scene and a familiar face in the crowd stop Foley cold. Is this revenge for what happened a year ago? Foley knows he must investigate on his own as the man in charge of Joe’s cold-blooded murder doesn’t believe it’s anything more than a jilted lover’s husband out for blood. The more Foley uncovers, the more he’s convinced it’s much more. When Foley happens upon illegal evidence and gets the brush-off, he acts. Will he avenge his family’s double-murders before the killer guns him down or has he just signed his own death warrant?
Gallows Field is a breath-taking thriller with plenty of twists and turns. The characters are well-drawn with their own backstories. The plot moves at a good pace and kept me vested. Sgt. Edge is a stuffy policeman who follows police procedure to the letter and is an intriguing man. The backdrop is Ireland during world war two. While it’s not a normal setting for a thriller, the historical accuracies are spot-on. The ending stayed with me and I closed the book satisfied.
If you’re looking for a gritty historical thriller in the same vein as James Patterson, pick up Gallows Field today.
My Rating: 5 stars
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Brendan Gerad O'Brien was born in Tralee, Ireland and now lives in Newport, South Wales.
As a child he spent his summer holidays in Listowel, Co Kerry where his uncle Moss Scanlon had a Harness Maker's shop. It was a magnet for all sorts of colourful characters, and it was there that Brendan's love of storytelling was kindled by the likes of John B. Keane and Bryan MacMahon, who often wandered in for a chat and bit of jovial banter.
The numerous short stories Brendan wrote based on those characters have been published in various anthologies and eMags over the years.
He has now self-published twenty of them in a collection called Dreamin' Dreams, and also as stand-alone stories with Amazon.com.
His first novel, a thriller set in Wales during WW2, is called
Dark September and is published by Tirgearr Publishing.
Gallows Field is his second thriller and is also set in WW2, only this time in Ireland.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N