Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review - Collusion by Stuart Neville

Product Details

Pub. Date: October 2010
Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated

Format: Hardcover , 354 pages

I checked this out from the library

Synopsis from Publishers Weekly

Irish author Neville follows his stunning debut, The Ghosts of Belfast, with an even more powerful tale of revenge, violence, and redemption. Collusion among Loyalists, IRA members, and the cops stymie the efforts of Det. Insp. Jack Lennon to find his former lover, Marie McKenna, and their daughter, Ellen, who've been targeted by Belfast crime boss Bull O'Kane. Jack finds an unlikely ally in former paramilitary killer Gerry Fegan, who knows that his murderous actions at a border farm where O'Kane was wounded and the gangster's son died have put mother and daughter at risk. Neville rides the perfect Celtic storm in an action-packed, cerebral thriller with fully realized characters and an insider's view of the ever-shifting politics of Northern Ireland, where the "peace boom" has also brought hordes of investors. Jack and Gerry emerge as two distinctly complicated antiheroes, neither of whom has illusions about himself.

My Review

I wanted to love this book.  I was so impressed and enthralled by Neville's The Ghosts of Belfast when I read it last year.  When I learned that there was a sequel, I immediately went and checked it out from my library.  Gerry Fegan was the anti-hero in The Ghosts of Belfast and I was so looking forward to him as a redeemed character.  Especially since I thought there would be a decent amount of interaction between him and Jack Lennon - the supposed hero of Collusion.

I am sad to say that I barely made it through this book.  The interaction I had anticipated between Lennon and Fegan was practically non-existent.  Plus, Lennon wasn't a very likable character.  At least with Fegan I believed that he was trying to redeem himself.  The most admirable thing about Lennon was that he would not give up on finding Marie and Ellen.  That's what kept me rooting him on and kept me reading this book.

This book, more than anything else, was a story about Bull O'Kane's revenge.  He's a twisted old man bent on killing those that he thought wronged him or simply knew too much about his atrocities.  Also, I am not a prude, but I do not think it's necessary to fill lines worth of text with curse words.  I get it, there were crazy characters in this book but a sentence that is comprised solely of curse words is so ridiculous.

Neville proved that he can write a good an intriguing story with The Ghosts of Belfast.  That, moreso than this book, would make me give him another chance.  Collusion gets a C- from me, though.


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