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Peeler [Paperback]

Kevin McCarthy
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.50
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Book Description

1 May 2010
West Cork. November 1920. The Irish War of Independence rages. The body of a young woman is found brutally murdered on a windswept hillside. A scrap board sign covering her mutilated body reads 'TRATOR'. Traitor. Acting Sergeant Sean O'Keefe of the Royal Irish Constabulary, a wounded veteran of the Great War, is assigned to investigate the crime, aided by sinister detectives sent from Dublin Castle to ensure he finds the killer, just so long as the killer he finds best serves the purposes of the Crown in Ireland. The IRA has instigated its own investigation into the young woman's death, assigning young Volunteer Liam Farrell - failed gunman and former law student - to the task of finding a killer it cannot allow to be one of its own. Unknown to each other, an RIC constable and an IRA Volunteer relentlessly pursue the truth behind the savage killing, their investigations taking them from the bullet-pocked lanes and thriving brothels of war-torn Cork city to the rugged, deadly hills of West Cork.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 479 pages
  • Publisher: The Mercier Press Ltd (1 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856356590
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856356596
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 516,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kevin McCarthy was born in Suffolk, UK, where his father was serving with the US Air Force. After serving in the Air Force himself, he attended Boston College for his undergraduate degree in English. He then worked as an English teacher in Japan for four years after which he returned to Ireland to pursue an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature and Higher Diploma in Education. He was awarded the Fingal Country Council Arts bursary for fiction writing in 2005 and his stories have appeared in various publications in print and online. Peeler is his first novel.

Product Description

About the Author

Kevin McCarthy was born in Suffolk, UK, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Air Force. He served in the Air Force himself before studying at Boston College and University College Dublin. In 2005 he was awarded the Fingal County Council Arts Bursary for Fiction Writing. He lives in North County Dublin with his wife and two children.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Kevin McCarthy's Peeler manages to capture the many facets of a surprisingly undocumented - at least in fiction - period of Irish history. Apart from being very well written the book is obviously also very well researched. Attention to detail and historical accuracy is paired with an acute awareness of a people's struggle to come to terms with the implications - both public and personal - of historical tumolt and violence. The vivid characterisations and at times chuckle-inducing dialogue combined with the refusal to bring a black and white view to the conflict makes it a very worthwhile read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book very much! 24 Jun 2010
You learn quite a lot from this book about Ireland and in particular a dramatic chapter of that country's history. It also provides an insight into the psyche of the Irish people in the 1920's. The prose is not dense and moves quickly along yet the book is full of detail revealing the author to be a good researcher as well as a good writer.

What I enjoyed most about this book is that, with compassionate irony, the author explores that dark side of humanity that war represents.

above all, this is a great detective story which I would highly recommend to anybody.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ripping good yarn 23 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Best whodunit I've read in years. A lot of background to a very curious period - well worth picking up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great surprise 8 Sep 2010
Peeler is really great - a first-class crime novel, and one of the best of the recent wave of historical crime fiction that I've read. It's close in style to, but probably even better in terms of character and story than Rennie Airth's first John Madden book, River of Darkness. The plot is excellent, even though it gets a bit messy at the end, the characters - even those on the sidelines - are drawn superbly, and the tensions and emotions are handled like a master. This is such an accomplished book that it's difficult to believe it's a first novel. The setting is also excellent, offering a very convincing sense of the conflict in Ireland in 1921 and of the dynamics between and within the different groups. My expectations were not high when I bought Peeler: even though the cover and blurb were attractive, Mercier Press has no reputation in fiction and Kevin McCarthy is an unknown. It just goes to show.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down 26 Jun 2010
By Margi
This is a brilliant detective novel set in a grittier period of Dublin's history. The author manages to utterly captivate the reader by sweeping him through the dark side of the city and the mind in realistic detail to a very clever climax. Other reads in this genre have not been as successful in carrying the suspense. Hopefully there will be more like this from the author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An effective detective 25 Jun 2010
By Alex
I really enjoyed this book. I'm a big fan of detective noir meets historical fiction (eg Philip kerr's Bernie Gunther novels or Tom Rob Smith's Child 44) and am delighted to see something in this genre set in Ireland.

Actually, the taut plot and atmospheric background work so well that I'm surprised that nobody thought of doing this before.

Hopefully the first book in a long series, I fully reccomend Peeler!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dark but awesome 23 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is intense. The story is a bit dark and I admit to reading through my fingers to skim over some passages, but it is worth it. Wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 11 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There is remarkably little fiction set in the era of the Irish War of Independence and, as we now embark upon a decade of centenaries connected with the 'Irish Revolution' [1913-1923] I'd have expected there to be more books and films about. I certainly enjoyed 'Peeler' as it is both a good crime thriller and is historically accurate. Another more recent and quite excellent book set in this period is DJ Kelly's 'Running with Crows - The Life and Death of a Black and Tan', a novel based on the true story of the only Black & Tan hanged for murder during the conflict. So now we have 2 great books set in this period, which was pivotal in terms of Anglo-Irish relations. If you like 'Running with Crows' you'll also like 'Peeler'.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Death in West Cork.
This is a detective story set in 1920, when an armed rebellion was taking place in Ireland and World War 1 was a recent event. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. M. Neligan
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking story
Great read, a murder mystery set in a background of the 1920's troubles in Ireland. Really looking forward to the next one coming out on kindle.
Published 14 months ago by Darren
5.0 out of 5 stars First Rate
Well written, credibly researched and filled with memorable situations and characters. A highly recommended crime novel set in a dangerous and tragic period. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Walton White
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
Excellently paced book, recalling just enough historic facts to give this fictional tale a believable basis. Read more
Published on 21 May 2012 by Mr. I. M. Mullins
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Irish historical crime story
There is much to like about Peeler. It's well researched, with a great deal of attention to historical accuracy and recreating the social and political landscape of County Cork in... Read more
Published on 12 May 2012 by Rob Kitchin
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminates a dark period of Irish history through one man's struggle
In December 1920, during the "War of Independence" Ireland was lawless, with the elected government in hiding, waging war on the army and police through flying columns of IRA... Read more
Published on 7 Mar 2012 by Frank McGrath
5.0 out of 5 stars A very, very good book
This is a seamless blend of historical fiction, war novel and crime thriller, set in the early 1920s and resurrecting the all-but forgotten predicament of the last of the Royal... Read more
Published on 23 April 2011 by Loomis
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