Saturday, 26 November 2011
'TIS in Kilkenny, it is reported, the marble hearts are as black as ink - in JJ Toner's noir thriller St Patrick's Day Special, the ancient city is where a gangster tout is being hidden away from his former friends.
At the beginning of this tense story, DI Ben Jordan of the Garda Síochána is on his way to take over babysitting the tout. But when he arrives, there's nothing left to babysit: the supergrass and Jordan's colleague have been wiped out, seemingly by a murderous pizza deliveryman.
Jordan, obsessed as he is by Ireland's most vicious gang leader, Lafferty, is determined that Lafferty will go down for this: it's obviously his handiwork.
Which leads us into an intricate story involving Jordan's troubled daughter and her beaux, his unhelpful bosses in the Gardaí, his own disintegrating personality, his dicey marriage and new life in a seafront mansion in Dublin 4, and myriad twists and turns.
In a dark vision of drug-ridden post-Celtic-Tiger Ireland, Toner's Ben Jordan makes the first appearance; we're going to see more of him.