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Deadly Intent
A Contemporary Irish Debut Mystery
Anna Sweeney

Severn House Publishers
6/1/2014/ ISBN 9780727883698
Police Procedural / Ireland / Contemporary

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks


Nessa and her husband bought a country house and turned it into a vacation home for those wanting to visit Ireland and it’s been very successful – until now. This season a lodger named Maureen was assaulted and left for dead. Nessa’s husband is in Africa visiting a sick loved one so she, alone, has to face Maureen’s angry husband and the bad publicity it’s caused. Maureen’s husband, Dominic, gets violent and blames Nessa for the assault. Then it goes from bad to worse when a second lodger who is wealthy and well-known is found dead. Now a pushy journalist joins Dominic in making life difficult for Nessa. Nessa’s eighteen-year- old daughter, Sal, is too self-absorbed to care, but Nessa’s friend Darnia is willing to help Nessa get away from it all.
Policeman Redmond Joyce is assigned to Bantry station and his dream is to become a detective. Detective Inspector Trevor O’Kelleher is the senior officer at Bantry and it’s up to him to keep contact with a number of smaller stations in west Cork. Redmond joins DI O’Kelleher on the current case involving Nessa and her lodger. Joyce knows Nessa was an investigative journalist who left her job for the good life.

When news gets out about the murder Nessa’s current lodgers’ feel a vacation on Ireland’s Atlantic coastline isn’t so picturesque after all. Joyce wants to solve both cases and a cut-throat journalist will do anything to get the story. Nessa just wants it all to go away…

The mystery itself is well written; it’s a mix of Traditional and Police Procedural. Sweeney is very adept at describing the beauty of Ireland’s Atlantic Coastline, and her main characters are memorable. In the first glimpse of these main characters we see Nessa growing strong and getting curious, again, whereas Joyce seems severe and just a bit odd.

Deadly Intent is Anna Sweeney’s debut mystery. It was actually translated from Gaelic. I’ve read in various places that Deadly Intent is the first book in a series starring Policeman Redmond Joyce and Nessa McDermott. Whether it is or not is yet to be seen since the book was first published in 2010 as Buille Marfach and there is yet to be a second in the series. I, for one, hope we meet Nessa and Redmond again; I really enjoyed Deadly Intent.

Reviewed 2014