Fianaise Bhreise. Micheál Ó Ruairc. LeabhairCOMHAR; 168pp; pb; €10.00; 978-1999-802981.
This detective story is the second part of a trilogy by Ó Ruairc, involving Dublin detective ‘Kojak’ Ó Cearúil and his fight against the gangs who run the trade in illegal drugs, human trafficking and prostitution in Ireland. In the first book in the series, Fianaise, the detective was tracking down a serial killer terrorising and preying on lap dancers in Cork and Dublin. The story came to a bloody conclusion on the outskirts of Cork and ‘Kojak’ is now in recovery from the incident but anxious to carry on his fight against crime.
His daughter Bearnairdine, who had followed him into the force against his advice, is appointed to head a team charged with bringing a leading Irish drugs baron and international criminal to justice. If the case wasn’t challenging enough, the involvement of well-known political and business figures with influence and contacts makes it both more difficult and more dangerous, as the possibility of leaks and political interference increases.
This and the other volumes in the trilogy are part of LeabhairCOMHAR’s series for adult learners of Irish and come with a useful glossary at the end of the book as well as translations of some less common words at the bottom of most pages, avoiding any need for a dictionary.
Ó Ruairc has long been an admired and prize-winning short-story writer and he manages to apply his narrative talents to these short thrillers without oversimplifying the storylines or the language. These aren’t books for complete beginners but for readers who have reasonable Irish but who still might appreciate a little help with more difficult or unusual vocabulary. The writer’s years as a schoolteacher and leader of writing workshops have served him well in pitching both language and story at an appropriate level. Hopefully, these books will inspire readers to search out Ó Ruairc’s fine work as a short-story writer and poet.
Cathal Póirtéir is a writer and broadcaster who has published several books and CDs on Irish folklore, social history and literature in Irish.