Saturday, June 12, 2010

The White Gallows by Rob Kitchin

Title: The White Gallows
Author: Rob Kitchin
Genre: Police Procedural, #2 Colm McEvoy mystery
Rating: A
Source: the author

First Line: The young man was lying on the gentle slope down to the River Boyne, his head a foot from the shallow water.

It's been six months since Detective Superintendent Colm McEvoy of Ireland's National Bureau of Criminal Investigation dealt with a particularly crafty serial killer in The Rule Book, and things haven't gotten any better.

If anything, they're worse. Recession, budget cuts... it all means that the few who are left have three times as much to do. When McEvoy has the murders of a young Lithuanian immigrant and an elderly German billionaire added to his workload, he's at the verge of meeting himself coming and going.

McEvoy is still grieving for his wife who died of cancer a year ago, but he's finding himself attracted to a co-worker. At least while he's flirting he now has suits that fit, although he does have a difficult time keeping them clean.

The murder of the anonymous Lithuanian youth has no leads, but McEvoy is finding plenty of skeletons in the billionaire's closet. With a crime scene investigator injured by a pipe bomb and a local cop insisting that he has a right to wade into the middle of an investigation, it's a good thing McEvoy still suffers from insomnia because the poor man has so many plates spinning that he doesn't have a second to spare.

The White Gallows fulfills the promise shown in The Rule Book. McEvoy is exhausted and flawed, but he wants everything done right. His family supports him even though they're exasperated at the amount of time he spends away from his young daughter. The plot moves surefootedly through many twists and turns, and although I'd pieced together some of the clues, there were still several that surprised me.

In many ways, what I enjoy the most about these books is twofold: (1) I enjoy reading about a caring, exhausted man who makes mistakes but doesn't know how to quit until the job is done, and (2) the books contain a hearty dose of reality. The main characters are not bulletproof, and all the investigations aren't solved and tied up in pretty little ribbons when the last page is turned.

I do hope that a third book is in the works. One of these days, McEvoy has to get a full night's restful sleep... and manage to keep his suit clean for an entire day!


  1. SNAP Cathy, just posted my review too. I agree they are very realistic books.

  2. Cathy - Thanks for this fine review. How funny that you and Bernadette posted your reviews on the same day. It was great to get both your perspectives, and now I'm very eager to read this book.

  3. This series sounds like something I would like. I'll have to go read Bernadette's review. I like the idea of realistic.

  4. I like realism too. Sometimes I just roll my eyes when the protagonist fights 20 bad guys and wins.

  5. Now I am REALLY looking forward to it!

  6. I finished it last week and liked it a lot.

  7. Cathy, thanks for the review. Glad you enjoyed. And thanks to everyone who commented. Almost finished the third one, so it's on the way, hopefully.

  8. Bernadette-- I think both of us were keeping an eye on the release date. :)

    Margot-- I hope you enjoy it!

    Beth-- If I don't get over this phase of insomnia, I think I'm going to blame McEvoy. How's that for realistic? ;)

    Kathy-- Me, too!

    Barbara-- It is!

    Dorte-- I think you'll like it!

    Paul-- I'm glad. I really enjoy Kitchin's writing.

    Rob-- The third? That is VERY good news!


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