Friday, August 23, 2019

Silent Night (Detective Iris Locke #1)

Silent Night is the first book in a new series by Geraldine Hogan. Released 23rd Aug 2019 by Bookouture, it's 301 pages and available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats.

This is a modern Irish police procedural set in the mid-west region of Ireland, in Limerick. DS Iris Locke is perpetually trying to avoid comparisons with her legendary father, a former police inspector in the same district. I enjoyed that the author managed to make Iris believable and avoided making her completely perfect. She's keen to prove herself and that makes her impatient and sometimes abrasive. She's got a chip on her shoulder from trying to compete with the shadow of her father (who's retired). She's sensitive to criticism and especially so from her male colleagues. On the other hand, she's also intelligent and meticulous. 

The plot of the novel turns on the fact that the first murders in the book are linked to a kidnapping disappearance almost 30 years ago.  Locke is convinced the disappearance (unsolved) of the current murder victim's infant sister 29 years ago is tied to her murder now. The writing and plotting are very solid and the characterizations are strong and believable.  The police colleagues are well fleshed out and their motivations are written clearly and adroitly. There is a fair bit of foreshadowing and the big denouement for me was more of an aHA!  It was cleverly done, and fans of modern procedural thrillers will find a lot to enjoy here. The Irish setting was lovely and very much an atmospheric part of the story. Interestingly, I usually find dialect dialogue tiresome, and I didn't find myself yanked out of the story once by the very strong Irish accent in the dialogue. I could definitely 'hear' it in my head though. The writing and slang are Irish, so readers from elsewhere will need to keep that in mind (fag, lift, torch, flat, petrol, biscuit, etc). It didn't seem to be any problem at all in context.

The writing is exceptionally good. The editing is seamless and invisible (as it should be). I didn't find any continuity breaks or spelling or formatting problems in the electronic ARC I received.

I would recommend this one to fans of procedurals who don't mind some violence and rough language. This would make a good buddy read or group read.

Four stars. Very strong start to the series. I'll be looking out for the next ones.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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