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Black Irish
Stephan Talty

February 2013 / ISBN 0345538064

Reviewed by Bob Walch

More famous for its infamous “lake effect” winter blizzards, which have dumped as much as 22 inches of snow on the city in one storm, than for its crime headlines, Buffalo, New York, is the focus of  the hunt for a serial killer in Stephan Talty’s new novel.

Set in the Irish stronghold of South Buffalo, the story begins as Absalom “Abbie” Kearney returns to the city where her adopted father was one of the area’s most revered and respected police officers.  With a Harvard degree and a detective’s badge, Abbie finds it difficult to earn the respect her step-father received from the members of the community.

When it becomes apparent that a sadistic killer is on the loose, Abbie seizes the opening to prove she can handle the investigation and earn the respect of her colleagues. Unfortunately, at every turn the young woman  discovers that a cultural wall of silence blocks her way.

A secretive Irish organization that includes some of the members of the police force is apparently determined to find the killer and mete out its own form of justice before the official inquiry can locate the psychopath.

As even her own family becomes drawn into the intrigue, Abbie realizes that she is not only battling wits with a very clever psychopath but also with a group of individuals who have some deep seated secrets that run generations deep.

 If this first novel featuring  BPD Decretive Abbie Kearney is an indication of things to come, you’ll want to get in on the ground floor so you’ll be fully familiar with the heroine’s background and personality before she tackles her next case. This is a series that may well make Buffalo famous for something other than the city’s harsh winters!

Reviewed 2013