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Death on the Hill: The Killing of Celine Cawley [Paperback]

Abigail Rieley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

24 May 2010
The case that had everything: lies, betrayal, sex. The story that fascinated the nation.

On 15 December 2008, two screams shattered the peace of the affluent Windgate Road in Howth, Co Dublin. Celine Cawley, founder of the hugely successful Toytown Films, former model and ‘Bond girl’, lay dying on the patio of her home. A major garda search got underway for the balaclava-wearing burglar that Celine’s husband, Eamonn Lillis, had described so vividly as his wife’s attacker. But it quickly became clear that there was no burglar, and the finger of suspicion pointed squarely at Lillis himself.

Journalist Abigail Rieley, who covered the trial for the Irish Independent, gives a step-by-step account of the day of the killing, the garda investigations, explores the relationship between Lillis and Cawley and between Lillis and his mistress, and gives a day-by-day account of the sensational trial and its impact on the families.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: O'Brien Press (24 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847172180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847172181
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 307,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After being born in London during that bit of the 70s when polo necks were high, skirts were short and paranoia was booming, I seem to have spent most of my life finding excuses to write. From early experiments which involved the adventures of a red bear written in red pen on old rolls of wallpaper or minuscule stories in minuscule books that came out of an early obsession with the Bronte sisters to theoretically more lucrative options like journalism and true crime I've always told stories.
Moving to Ireland in my teens, the prospect of living the artistic life seemed even better but reality quickly dawned and I realised that I would need a proper job. The proper job never really materialised. After several years of random jobs including wrangling actors as an Assistant Stage Manager, avoiding fake Titanic ephemera working on an antiques stall and dodging ghosts and peacocks as a tour guide in a medieval castle I did what countless aspiring novelists have done over the decades and got a job in radio. Eventually I worked out that radio doesn't have that many opportunities for writing and switched to print.
I've spent most of the last seven years writing about murders for the national and local press around Ireland. Based in the Central Criminal Court in Dublin I've written about all the big cases and it was here I found the subjects of my first two books.
I'm still based in Dublin, where I live with my husband and the obligatory cat. I'm working on my next book. This one actually will be a novel.

Product Description


'a masterful retelling of the whole sad, sometimes slightly sordid, business' (Irish Independent)

'Death on the Hill has everything - sex, lies, a former Bond girl in Celine Cawley, and money.' (Evening Echo)

About the Author

Abigail Rieley is a writer and journalist based in Dublin, where she mainly works as a freelance court reporter covering murder trials for the Irish media. Her first book, The Devil in the Red Dress, about the trial of Sharon Collins and Essam Eid, was published by Maverick House.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 24 Mar 2012
By Windy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have not read this book, I have only seen the story on Foxtel, which prompted me to buy it for my Mum. She has finished the book & said that she couldn't put it down til she found out how it ended. She says it was well written & very informative. Based on a real life situation makes for very interesting & compelling reading.
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Abigail Rieley's Death on the Hill: The Killing of Celine Cawley is among the best of Irish True Crime books. Concise and every page interesting, this 2010 release from The O'Brien Press delivers the sad story of former model and businesswoman Celine Cawley and her husband Eamonn Lillis.

DotH carries a strong narriate, a tale told at an accessible level both to those who followed the trial in the newspapers and those who are completely unfamiliar. It has the details, the dialogue, the back and forth of the killing, the investigation and the courtroom. Best of all, it is even and respectful to all participants involved. No sides are taken, and no preaching on behalf of any side in the case's controversies.

For a fine example of everyday crime and punnishment among modern Ireland's elite, Abigail Rieley's Death on the Hill is recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A tragic case. 15 Nov 2010
A sad and sorry affair, in more ways than one, Abigail Reiley captures, in forensic detail, the background to this case, the events on the day of Celine Cawley's death and the ensuing Garda investigation and trial. It's not a read for the fainthearted but if you enjoy crime/courtroom dramas, then this is an essential book for you. Abigail Reiley describes the day to day courtroom proceedings with a detective's attention to detail.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Death Of a Bond Girl 13 Sep 2010
Bought this in Dublin as the economy collapsed almost visibly. Seems that economic pressures put a strain on Celine Cawley's relationship with Eamonn Lillis. Such a horrible story of a husband killing his wife in the course of a petty argument. Told in lurid detail but with a rare sensitivity for the bereaved. Loved the blow by blow courtroom stuff.
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