Blood Money

Arlene Hunt
Hachette Books Ireland, €9.99

A HARDBOILED private detective who knows how to look after himself but with a heart of gold – we’ve seen it all before. But what makes Blood Money different is that the character of John Quigley is believable and the plot for most of the book is set in Dublin. Oh, and the author is a woman from Wicklow.

Blood Money sees the return of John Quigley, this time without his sidekick Sarah Kenny, who has disappeared to England. Why a private eye would not pursue his partner is never really fully explained except for opaque references to male pride, but the practice trundles on without Sarah’s help.

A mother desperate for John to get answers to her daughter Alison’s apparent suicide brings John on the trail of greedy money men and surgeons willing to carry out organ donations for the highest bidders. When one donor dies in eastern Europe her brother Pavel makes his way to Dublin to butcher those who left his sister to die. The unlikely romance between hardman Pavel and a busking teenager doesn’t really work, but tries to humanise the one-man hit squad.

Quigley unravels a disgraced surgeon being blackmailed into surgeries, a campaigning doctor willing to blackmail in order to get her patients to the top of this dodgy transplant list and a clinic run by a cold, money-driven woman in a pencil skirt willing to do anything to keep her business going. He also has to try and track down Sarah after her ex-husband’s body turns up on a beach in Wales.

While the thriller part is missing with the plot coming straight at you like a juggernaut, the book is a nice little page-turner and ideal for the summer holidays as you will be able to put it down and pick it up and still be able to keep the plot straight.

Might even tempt you to delve into some other books from the John Quigley series to find out more.

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