A Man With One of Those Faces (The Dublin Trilogy)
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When people reach a certain age, or gets a bad illness like Dementia or Alzheimer's, they usually end up in a care facility, and the visits from friends and family becomes fewer and fewer, these people hold on to the hope that somebody special will come to visit them at least one more time. And Paul does that for them, becomes a family member they so desperately want to see and talk to. It sounds so noble, even though his motivations may not be.
When you have ‘one of those faces’ you can get away with murder. You know, one of those faces that blends seamlessly into a sea of people. Distinctly average and not quite the face you’d expect from a novel’s leading man. Yet, this face – ‘a masterpiece of bloody-minded unoriginality, an aesthetic tribute to the forgettably average’ – is just the face that McDonnell lends to his main character, Paul Mulchrone. Our leading lady, Nurse Brigit, doesn’t fare much better either; her’s is a face that wouldn’t sink a thousand ships, but could raise the pulses of the guys waiting for chips at the local fish bar. Paul started life as the son of a single mother - the father had abandoned them, I believe. When he was 6 years old, he first met his great-aunt Fidelma, who refused to help them. He met her a second time at 12, after his mother died, and his aunt wanted nothing to do with him. But perhaps she had some tiny shred of decency left because when she died, she remembered him in her will. She left most of her estate and money to Donegal Donkey Sanctuary, but left him the use of one of her houses and a very small stipend to last until he got a job. In return, he had to perform 6 hours a week of charity work. He was not too happy, and dedicated the rest of his life to hating her, making do on the small stipend, and not getting a job. He would even visit her grave regularly to curse her.Exactly. The patient knows enough to get that they should know who this person is. So when I walk in and say hello-' Brigit, for her part, was fighting off a rather heavy dose of the anti-climaxes. All those Scottish crime novels, containing more dead bodies than Scotland actually had living people, had left her with high expectations of the criminal justice system.
One of Those Faces sets the stage in the first few chapters as a banger of a read. We don't know much about the protagonist, Harper Mallen, but she's suffering from some horrendously graphic nightmares. These god-awful nightmares must reflect her current life or has something to do with a deeply hidden past. No more on the plot as that would royally ruin it but suffice to say it’ll keep you wondering to the end.
The writing is full of witty one-liners, humorous observations and colourful characters. The action is well paced, clearly plotted and exciting. He had nothing that came close to qualifying as a distinguishing anything. His every facial attribute was a masterpiece of bloody-minded unoriginality, an aesthetic tribute to the forgettably average. Collectively they formed an orchestra designed to produce the facial muzak of the gods. DI Jimmy Stewart disliked unusual. Before you knew it, unusual became awkward, and then it was just a hop, skip and a dodgy chain of evidence to awkward becoming complicated. More than anything, Jimmy Stewart hated complicated.
Gluteus maximus – most definitely. Gunshot, stab wound – if you get the option, go ass every time.”
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BUNNY MCGARRY…Bunny is everything you imagine a cop NOT to look or sound like, with a loud foul mouth albeit a very funny one at that. He is an old school Police Officer who keeps an eye on his neighbourhood, making his own rules and punishments as he wonders the streets. He has one main goal and that is to always look out for the locals especially 'his boys'. Bunny is not known for doing things by the book.