Synopses & Reviews
Sergeant Molly Power is on duty when the call comes in. A young African man has been attacked and left for dead in the countryside. His leg was amputated, but he managed to get to the house of a farmer, although he'll die in the hospital later that night from massive blood loss.
The nature of the murder is puzzling. The mortician concludes that the leg was removed by a professional, under anesthetic, which makes it unlikely that the amputation was an act of racism. However, the postoperative treatment was sloppy and could have been done better by a Boy Scout.
The dead man was a young African immigrant called Shad who owned a restaurant in the "Little Africa" neighborhood of Dublin. He was loved by all who knew him, especially by his younger brother, Jude. As Irish police officers Molly Power, Jim Quilligan, and Denis Lennon make their investigations, Jude and a young orphan boy, Pita, do their own work to bring Shad's killer to justice.
Andrew Nugent spent several years as a missionary on the "dark continent," in which he developed an understanding and admiration for the people of Africa. He brings that insight, as well as his delightful Irish humor, to an intriguing crime novel that trumpets the shared humanity among very different and sometimes clashing cultures.
"Nugent's second Dublin police procedural falls short of the high mark set by the first of the series, The Four Courts Murder (2005), in part because his detective heroes, Insp. Jim Quilligan and Sgt. Molly Power, play less of a central role. After Shadrack Nwachukwu dies of blood loss from having his leg cut off below the knee, Quilligan and Power delve into Dublin's Nigerian expatriate community for answers. Shad's brother, Jude, vows to bring the person responsible to justice, though his unfamiliarity with Irish culture complicates his task. Nugent does an excellent job of bringing Dublin's Little Africa to life, and his vivid depiction of Nigeria, where Quilligan travels in search of a motive, is another plus, but some readers may be unsatisfied by the absence of more than one plausible suspect and the minimal role the police actually play in uncovering the truth. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"What shines throughout, however, isn't the detective work, but the piercing compassion that crosses racial and national lines to embrace everyone who seeks the truth about the evil that left Shad dead." Kirkus Reviews
A young black man collapses on a doorstep, bleeding from his stump of a leg that appears to have been recently amputated. It falls to Dublin police detectives Dennis, Jim, and Molly to find out the answers to the most puzzling crime they've ever seen.
About the Author
Andrew Nugent, currently Prior of a Benedictine Abbey, has been a trial lawyer, the headmaster of a prestigious boys' school, and a missionary in Africa. He says he is more accustomed to writing spiritual theology than murder mysteries. "But," he adds mysteriously, "they are really the same thing." He lives in Limerick, Ireland.