“Thrilling shouldn’t be this funny, funny shouldn’t be this thrilling.
The first time somebody tried to kill him was an accident.
The second time was deliberate.
Now Paul Mulchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violence. Together they must solve one of the most notorious crimes in Irish history . . .
. . . or else they’ll be history.”
Back in September 2016 when my husband was still in his thirties, when Honey G was nobody special (?!), when Ore Oduba was just that guy from BBC Sport and The Great British Bake Off was still on the BBC, I hosted a guest post from debut crime thriller author Caimh McDonnell to celebrate the release of A Man With One of Those Faces. If you missed that post the first time around, or if you would like a quick recap then please click here. It’s worth a read as Caimh writes about why he hates comedic crime, despite writing comedic crime (and being a standup comedian…go figure!).
After hosting that post I was very keen to read A Man With One of Those Faces. It’s been sat on my Kindle for a little while now, trying to tempt me away from my reading schedule. Then one day I thought to myself, it’s nearly Christmas which means a bookish treat is in order. So my bookish treat to myself this year was squeezing A Man With One of Those Faces in when I should have been reading future blog tour books (whoops!). And WHAT a treat it was!
A Man With One of Those Faces centres mainly around three characters. Professional granny whisperer, Paul Mulchrone earns a measly living by carrying out a set number of hours of charity work as dictated by the will of his very dead, yet completely bonkers great-aunt. Searching for the path of least resistance and being a man with one of those faces, Paul kicks off a career in granny whispering. By visiting local hospices and hospitals Paul encounters the heroine of the story, the crime fiction obsessed Nurse Brigit Conroy who through no fault of her own, unwittingly gets Paul stabbed. Being stabbed is only the start of it and before long Nurse Brigit and Paul are running for their lives. DS Bunny McGarry runs the local hurling club where all the local lads, including 12 year old Paul Mulchrone played. That was until a catastrophic falling out between Bunny and Paul, which Paul still holds a fierce grudge about. But that doesn’t matter to Bunny; Paul is still one of his boys. With an admirable devotion to his sport, Bunny never leaves the house without his hurley to hand and boy, he is not afraid to use it! *ouch*.
The plot was very good with some great twists but for me, this book was all about it’s enchanting cast of slightly crazy, somewhat violent characters who I ended up adoring. I WANT to read more about these characters as I feel a real fondness and warmth for them, they’re flawed people but that adds to their crazy appeal. Don’t get me wrong though, this book is action packed with shootings, crazy serial killers and hitmen. Blimey, I loved it!
I found the smaller, less significant characters had an endearing pull about them too. I don’t tend to remember the supporting cast very often but I know this lot are going to stay with me. Such as creepy balloon man Phil, gun-wielding octogenarian Dorothy and ‘days from retirement’ but married to the job, DI Jimmy Stewart.
I fell completely in love with Paul, Nurse Brigit and Bunny and I am excited that Caimh McDonnell is about to publish book two, The Day That Never Comes. (Psst, I’m on the blog tour for TDTNC on 25th January 2017 with another brilliant guest post from Caimh; one for the diary, perhaps?)
Would I recommend this book? I most definitely would! It’s funny, it’s very Irish and my heart hasn’t warmed to such a unlikely bunch of heroes for a long time. I can’t wait to read The Day That Never Comes and have Paul, Nurse Brigit and Bunny back in my life. A very well written debut thriller that shows a real understanding of the author’s charming characters. Superb!
Five out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an ARC of A Man With One of Those Faces. My thanks to Elaine Ofori, McFori Ink and NetGalley for the review copy.
A Man With One of Those Faces by Caimh McDonnell was published in the UK by McFori Ink on 5th September 2016 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
Caimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats.
His writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme, A League of Their Own, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created. He was also a winner in the BBC’s Northern Laffs sitcom writing competition.
During his time on the British stand-up circuit, Caimh has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He has brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).
His debut novel, A Man with One of Those Faces, a pacy crime thriller set in Dublin, is out now.