Rob Kitchin. The White Gallows. IndePenPress 2010. 324 pages. ISBN: 978-1-907499-37-1 .
My special thanks to the author for sending me a signed copy of this book.
An unidentified body has been found Near Trim Castle. A young man, maybe a Lithuanian immigrant, has been beaten to death, probably stabbed. At the crime scene DS Colm McEvoy from the NBCI, the branch of the Gardai that investigates the country’s most serious crimes, is in badly need of a decent night sleep. His insomnia has increased after the killing spree of the Raven six months earlier (see my post on The Rule Book here) besides he has several other active cases.
As a consequence of the economic downturn recruitment and promotion in the public sector has been suspended, the NBCI is no exception. Senior officers are being encouraged to take early retirement without replacement and contract staff is being laid off at the end of their terms.
And the murder rate in Ireland is soaring. On that very same day another immigrant, Albert Koch, has been found dead asleep. The doctor claim he died from natural cases but a local garda casts some doubts, his head has been bashed and the body moved. An overstressed McEvoy is sent to investigate. Koch was one of the wealthiest men in Ireland and founder of Ostara Industries, the biggest employer of miles around. Soon the investigation raises questions about Koch’s past, his possible participation in the Holocaust and the obscure origin of his fortune.
Within the course of a week we will be following McEvoy. Besides his insomnia he doesn’t eat well and his private life is not easy either. While he is still mourning his wife a year after her death, he feels guilty for not taking proper care of his twelve-year-old daughter. He is also struggling to give up smoking what makes him often irritable. A close woman colleague has been severely wounded and he finds himself sexually attracted to another one. On top of that his relationship with his boss is not easy to say the least, the local police officials are being unhelpful and the rich and influential Koch family is uncooperative.
The White Gallows is the second novel of Rob Kitchin featuring DS Colm McEvoy. It is an amazing police procedure with a great sense of place. The plot evolves at a right pace and Kitchin masterfully draws very real and human characters. We can easily identify with McEvoy, share his emotions and feel his frustrations. The story is complex but the pieces finally fit together. I enjoyed reading it thoroughly. A highly recommended novel and I’m looking forward to read his third book in the series.
Rob Kitchin blogs at The View from the Blue House.
The White Gallows has been reviewed by Reactions to Reading, DJs Krimiblog, Kittling Books, International Noir Fiction, Mack Captures Crime, Crime Scraps, Mysteries in Paradise, You Would Say That, Wouldn’t You?