The Midnight Choir

The Midnight Choir

4.6 3
by Gene Kerrigan

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"An absorbing, beautifully written tale."-The Times (London)

A sophisticated crime story of contemporary Ireland, The Midnight Choir teems with moral dilemmas as Dublin emerges as a city of ambiguity: a newly scrubbed face hiding a criminal culture of terrible variety. Small-time criminals have become millionaire businessmen, the


"An absorbing, beautifully written tale."-The Times (London)

A sophisticated crime story of contemporary Ireland, The Midnight Choir teems with moral dilemmas as Dublin emerges as a city of ambiguity: a newly scrubbed face hiding a criminal culture of terrible variety. Small-time criminals have become millionaire businessmen, the poor are still struggling to survive, and the police face a world where the old rules no longer apply. "Believe me, you want The Midnight Choir with you on holiday," says The Sunday Business Post. "This is the kind of book you pass on to someone you like, and say 'read this.'"

Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
Maverick cops who write their own rules out of frustration with the criminal justice system are hardly unknown in detective fiction, but it’s rare to find one whose decline and fall is as tragic as that of Detective Inspector Harry Synnott, the Dublin police officer who loses his soul in Gene Kerrigan’s gripping procedural, The Midnight Choir. Synnott is well aware that his old-fashioned values are out of sync with those of the new, entrepreneurial Ireland. But while the Celtic Tiger may have joined the modern world, Synnott can see that “we’re still committing the same old crimes,” and it eats him up when a rape case is compromised by his hard-nosed ethical code.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

The current Irish economic and real estate boom forms the backdrop for the assured second novel from Irish journalist Kerrigan (after Little Criminals). Any smalltime hood with an entrepreneurial bent and a workable scam can quickly work himself into the ranks of the millionaires produced by the boom, forcing police departments all over the country to scramble to keep up. In Dublin, Det. Insp. Harry Synnot, a man with an acute sense of morality and justice, is working a rape and a jewelry store robbery, manipulating his snitch, Dixie Peyton, and being groomed for a job in the Serious Crime Department of Europol. Meanwhile in Galway, policeman Joe Mills is investigating a mysterious double murder, probably committed by a man he's just rescued from a rooftop suicide attempt. While much of the fun is in puzzling out unfamiliar words like "gurriers" and "gaff," it's Kerrigan's firm control of the procedural genre and the breathtaking twist he gives his plot that show him to be a master of the form. (Apr.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

A dour Celtic copper does duty in a capital city in the British Isles and runs afoul of the authorities while working with (and sometimes against) his colleagues. No, it's not a new Ian Rankin novel but a "Garda procedural," the first publication to appear in the United States by award-winning Irish newspaperman/novelist Kerrigan (Little Criminals). The story is set in what is clearly the "new" Ireland, the preserve of all things on the way up: Bono, Ryanair, and any number of shiny new solicitors. Slogging his way through a seemingly mundane rape case, Det. Insp. Harry Synott of Dublin feels that he, too, has earned his promised promotion up the ladder to Europol. At his side is Det. Garda Rose Cheney, who is able to tick off the astronomically rising cost of real estate in the Irish capital. It turns out, though, that the island is as tight as ever, with the rape case having repercussions throughout Irish society, from down-and-out Dixie Peyton to its higher echelons, from Dublin to Galway. Kerrigan gets the midnight choir humming in an intricately plotted novel that can safely be mentioned in the same breath as those by Rankin. For all larger public libraries.
—Bob Lunn

Kirkus Reviews
A clutch of violent cases challenges the Gard, Ireland's storied police force. While Garda Joe Mills tries to talk a jumper in from a ledge in Galway, his boss, Inspector Harry Synnott, is interrogating young Teresa Hunt about a rape charge in Dublin. On a nearby street, drug addict Dixie Peyton uses a syringe filled with red liquid to rob American tourists. The turmoil of multiple urgent cases is typical of life at Dublin's Gard and of this sequel to Little Criminals (2000). After Mills talks down the jumper, Wayne Kemp, he clams up in his cell for days. Synnott hits a temporary roadblock with alleged rapist Max Hapgood, whose irrational family tries to thwart the investigation at every turn. And Dixie has inside information she's afraid to disclose about a daring bank robbery. Solving the robbery becomes crucial to Synnott's hoped-for promotion. Woven in are several minor cases, along with the personal stories of the detectives and some revealing glimpses of Dublin's criminal underworld. Veteran journalist Kerrigan focuses especially on crime boss Lar MacKendrick, whose involvement in the robbery seems obvious, as he deals with both the violent murder of his brother Jo-Jo and the unexpected death of reliable muscle Owen, Dixie's late boyfriend. A ripping crime tale, impressive in scope and crackling with energy, as well as a fascinating portrait of contemporary Ireland.

Product Details

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5.29(w) x 8.23(h) x 1.12(d)

Meet the Author

Gene Kerrigan is a Dublin writer. He is the author of Another Country, This Great Little Nation (with Pat Brennan), Never Make a Promise You Can't Break: How to Succeed in Irish Politics, and the novel Little Criminals.

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The Midnight Choir 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Figmo99 More than 1 year ago
The first Kerrigan book I have read. Very fast, easy read. More of a noir police procedural than a hard boiled detective story. Very gritty, no Hollywood ending here. Explores the moral effect of constant contact with squalor and depravity. It kind of reminds me of "Heart of Darkness" - Joseph Conrad's hero being turned into a savage by his contact with savages. Except Kerrigan is more sensitive to the blindness in Conrad's proposition - the exchange is not one way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crime fiction as literature, exceptionally well-written with crisp, clear prose.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book about cops and robbers in Ireland, mostly one detective and one of his informants. None of the characters is a hero. They all have their human flaws. Most of the story is about the cops going through their routine investigations. There is some humor in the story and an exciting episode about a jewelry store heist, but the overall story is kind of bleak.