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Borderlands (Inspector Devlin Mystery 1) [Paperback]

Brian McGilloway
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

4 April 2008 Inspector Devlin Mystery 1

The corpse of local teenager Angela Cashell is found on the Tyrone- Donegal border, between the North and South of Ireland, in an area known as the borderlands. Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin heads the investigation: the only clues are a gold ring placed on the girl’s finger and an old photograph, left where she died.

Then another teenager is murdered, and things become further complicated when Devlin unearths a link between the recent killings and the disappearance of a prostitute twenty-five years earlier – a case in which he believes one of his own colleagues is implicated.

As a thickening snow storm blurs the border between North and South, Devlin finds the distinction between right and wrong, vengeance and justice, and even police-officer and criminal becoming equally unclear.

A dazzling and lyrical debut crime novel, Borderlands marks the beginning of a compelling new series featuring Inspector Benedict Devlin.

'Brian McGilloway's command of plot and assurance of language make it difficult to believe that Borderlands is his debut.' - The Times

'A mystery of labyrinthine complexity' - Sunday Telegraph

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Frequently Bought Together

Borderlands (Inspector Devlin Mystery 1) + Gallows Lane (Inspector Devlin Mystery 2) + Bleed a River Deep (Inspector Devlin Mystery 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (4 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033045255X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330452557
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 281,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian McGilloway was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1974. After studying English at Queen's University, Belfast, he took up a teaching position in St Columb's College in Derry, where he was Head of English.

His first novel, Borderlands, published by Macmillan New Writing, was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger 2007 and was hailed by The Times as 'one of (2007's) most impressive debuts.' The second novel in the series, Gallows Lane, was shortlisted for the 2009 Irish Book Awards/Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year. The third Devlin, Bleed a River Deep, was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of their Best Books of 2010. The first DS Lucy Black novel, Little Girl Lost, became an Amazon Kindle No 1 Bestseller in 2013. The follow-up novel featuring Lucy Black, Hurt, is published in November 2013.

Brian lives near the Irish borderlands with his wife and their four children.

Product Description


'A very assured debut' -- Do You Write Under Your Own Name?

'McGilloway's debut is marked by exceptionally mature prose and a hero as charismatically volcanic in his own way.' -- Kirkus

'This is a disturbing but strangely compelling read. . . I thoroughly enjoyed Borderlands.'
-- Reading Matters

About the Author

Brian McGilloway was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1974, and teaches English at St Columb’s College, Derry. Previously he has written plays and short stories. He lives near the Borderlands, with his wife and their two sons.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
100 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tightly plotted thriller with heart of a poet 16 April 2007
Ben Devlin is a unique copper in the ranks of murder mystery writing; with a (mostly) happy family life and an easy familiarity with his small community which never borders on the arch, he still evidences the kind of common sense thinking and popular misconceptions about the modern world that make him instantly relatable and much more than just a device for the author's omniscience. He's incredibly likeable, but has enough of the poet about him that he remains compelling enough to follow, in this short debut novel from McGilloway. The plot is tightly structured and meticulously paced for the most part; the first two thirds of the book follow an almost linear and procedural progression which keeps the seasoned reader happily immersed in their own suspicions. If the book has a flaw it is in the final pages, where possibly too many twists in too short a time stretch the believability slightly. Still, I didn't see the end coming. A wonderful subplot with the family dog provides an elegant allegory for the larger issues in the book and shows just how sophisticated a writer McGillway is and how good this ongoing series should prove to be (He's written the second and been signed upfor three more after that). Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brian McGilloway. Borderlands 7 April 2013
By Annelou
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brian McGilloway. Having read two of this authors books I cannot wait to start the next one. His books are so full of intrigue and detail. I find D I Devlin a fascinating character and am looking forward to reading Borderlands (Inspector Devlin mystery 2 5 stars
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Borderlands - Brian McGilloway 3 Jan 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Waiting for new releases from the regular crime writers that I read, I came across "Borderlands" and bought it on the strength of the reviews.

I was not disappointed and will be reading the 2nd in the series before the 3rd is released in April!

The plot moves along at a strong pace, with enough clues being teased out to ensure interest is maintained with surprises towards the end. I agree that at the end of the novel a number of twists and turns come tumbling out too quickly that damages the former credibility. However the realisic sense of police work and detection throughout the novel easily lets you forgive this.

Benedict Devlin is a great character - essentially a moral and good man - he has human failings where his own emotions and temptations side track him. McGilloway put across an honesty to Devlin's character which brings his character alive.

I did have to check the setting on a map but that is due to my own lack of geographical knowledge and not the fault of the author. The setting is strongly portrayed and convincing. At times the writing is powerful and poetic, ie. "the sky is bruised purple and yellow in the dying sun" as a young girl is found dead with bruising on her chest.

I'm glad that I have found this author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confident debut crime novel with unusual setting 28 Feb 2011
By Maxine Clarke VINE VOICE
Small but perfectly formed, this little gem of a book is the debut of Brian McGilloway, an author I am sure is set for great success. The Borderlands are the area between Northern Ireland and Eire. As the book opens, the body of a teenage girl has been found in this modern no-man's land, and two police detectives from either side of the border must decide who is to take the case.
Because the girl turns out to live in Lifford, Inspector Ben Devlin of the Garda is the winner of this grim award, with his opposite number from the north, Jim Hendry, the loser. What follows over the next couple of hundred pages of this slight but telling book is a focused police procedural set during the next few days of Christmas and the New Year: an investigation hampered by weather, holidays and the need for co-ordination between the Northern and Southern administrations as witnesses, suspects and evidence turn up in the towns, hamlets and countryside on either side of the twisting border.
McGilloway weaves together a complex set of characters and motives, his canvas expanding as another victim is found, as drugs seem to be involved, as Devlin's own superior and colleagues come under suspicion, and as his own slightly tense domestic life is destabilised by an aggressive neighbour and by an old flame. Although Devlin strays from the straight and narrow both in running the investigation and in his marriage, he is essentially a good man whose innate honesty and doggedness take him further and further into an increasingly tangled web.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well done! 27 Mar 2013
By Anja G.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good introduction to irish borderland life and the irish political problems faced in days gone by! I just loved to read the Inspector Devlin mystery series. He is such a jerk sometimes and soo into his job, you want to hit him not standign up for his family. on the other hand he is a good policeman doing a great job were all the other dumbheads around him don't see the wood for the trees. the last reminds me soo much of my real life in Oxford on my day to day experience!!!! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Borderlands 23 Mar 2013
By Jenny
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This the second book I have read by Brian McGilloway.
It will not be the last as the stories of Inspector Devlin are becoming really worth reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars reading
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Avril Dickinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
Published 2 months ago by Rosemarie Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good author who I am now following after reading a couple of his books
Published 2 months ago by Alan Seago
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As usual great read
Published 2 months ago by Ann scullion
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good story line.I enjoyed it.. trouble was it's in very small print!
Published 3 months ago by HevT
4.0 out of 5 stars worth a read
good series
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Briliant
This is the fourth book that I have read from this author. His first I believe. It does not disappoint with a brilliant mix of threads to the story and a good developing human... Read more
Published 3 months ago by TVR-Andy
5.0 out of 5 stars Borderlands
Devlin mystery
Another brilliant read this writer never fails to keep you riverted until you get to the end
Brilliant read
Published 4 months ago by gwendoline wright
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC!!
I never normally write reviews but felt I owed this book one. I've never been a fan of murder mysteries but when I came across this and realised it was by a fellow Northern... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Pauline McNally
4.0 out of 5 stars New McGilloway fan
Being from Northern Ireland myself, it's brilliant to see Ireland being used as a setting for such great crime writing as McGilloway so expertly displays. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joanne Schofield
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