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The Nameless Dead by Brian McGilloway
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Declan Cleary disappeared 30 years ago and everyone assumed that he was killed because he informed on a friend. Then Commission for Location of Victims' Remains gets a tip that Declan Cleary's body is buried on the small isle of Islandmore in the river Foyle. But instead they find the body of baby and it seems that the baby didn't die of natural causes, but any evidence that is revealed by the Then Commission for Location of Victims' Remains cannot lead to prosecution and Inspector Ben Devlin is told that he can't investigate the dead baby since it wouldn't lead to a conviction since the perpetrator is protected from prosecution because of the law that makes people come forth with evidence of where dead bodies are buried protect them from prosecution. But Devlin can't just let go of the dead baby case and then they find more babies buried...

The story was so compelling that I couldn't stop reading the book when I started it. This is the first book in the Inspector Devlin series that I have read, but it never felt like I missed anything by not having read the previous books. From the beginning, I liked Devlin and the rest of the characters in the book and any mentioned of stuff from the past made me just more eager to read the previous book in the series.

I liked that you didn't know if the dead baby and the missing Declan Cleary were connected in any way or and why someone would kill and bury a baby. Everything also gets's more complicated when a person close to Declan Cleary gets murdered. Is there someone out there that doesn't want the truth of what happened 30 years ago to come out?

Devlin also has some personal problems, his daughter is recovering from an accident and his son thinks that they prefer his sister to him and it doesn't get better when Devlin, for instance, forgets that they had planned to watch a movie at the cinema and instead get called into work and forget about that.

I liked this book very much and I'm looking forward to reading this series from the beginning!

Thanks to Witness Impulse and Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Nov 2, 2017 |
Declan Cleary disappeared 30 years ago and everyone assumed that he was killed because he informed on a friend. Then Commission for Location of Victims' Remains gets a tip that Declan Cleary's body is buried on the small isle of Islandmore in the river Foyle. But instead they find the body of baby and it seems that the baby didn't die of natural causes, but any evidence that is revealed by the Then Commission for Location of Victims' Remains can not lead to prosecution and Inspector Ben Devlin is told that he can't investigate the dead baby since it wouldn't lead to a conviction since the perpetrator is protected from prosecution because of the law that makes people come forth with evidence of where dead bodies are buried protect them from prosecution. But Devlin can't just let go of the dead baby case and then they find more babies buried...

The story was so compelling that I couldn't stop reading the book when I started it. This is the first book in the Inspector Devlin series that I have read, but it never felt like I missed anything by not having read the previous books. From the beginning, I liked Devlin and the rest of the characters in the book and any mentioned of stuff from the past made me just more eager to read the previous book in the series.

I liked that you didn't know if the dead baby and the missing Declan Cleary were connected in any way or and why someone would kill and bury a baby. Everything also gets's more complicated when a person close to Declan Cleary gets murdered. Is there someone out there that doesn't want the truth of what happened 30 years ago to come out?

Devlin also has some person problems, his daughter is recovering from an accident and his son thinks that they prefer his sister to him and it doesn't get better when Devlin, for instance, forgets that they had planned to watch a movie at the cinema and instead get called into work and forgets about that.

I liked this book very much and I'm looking forward to reading this series from the beginning!

4.5 stars

Thanks to Witness Impulse and Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
Declan Cleary disappeared 30 years ago and everyone assumed that he was killed because he informed on a friend. Then Commission for Location of Victims' Remains gets a tip that Declan Cleary's body is buried on the small isle of Islandmore in the river Foyle. But instead they find the body of baby and it seems that the baby didn't die of natural causes, but any evidence that is revealed by the Then Commission for Location of Victims' Remains can not lead to prosecution and Inspector Ben Devlin is told that he can't investigate the dead baby since it wouldn't lead to a conviction since the perpetrator is protected from prosecution because of the law that makes people come forth with evidence of where dead bodies are buried protect them from prosecution. But Devlin can't just let go of the dead baby case and then they find more babies buried...

The story was so compelling that I couldn't stop reading the book when I started it. This is the first book in the Inspector Devlin series that I have read, but it never felt like I missed anything by not having read the previous books. From the beginning, I liked Devlin and the rest of the characters in the book and any mentioned of stuff from the past made me just more eager to read the previous book in the series.

I liked that you didn't know if the dead baby and the missing Declan Cleary were connected in any way or and why someone would kill and bury a baby. Everything also gets's more complicated when a person close to Declan Cleary gets murdered. Is there someone out there that doesn't want the truth of what happened 30 years ago to come out?

Devlin also has some person problems, his daughter is recovering from an accident and his son thinks that they prefer his sister to him and it doesn't get better when Devlin, for instance, forgets that they had planned to watch a movie at the cinema and instead get called into work and forgets about that.

I liked this book very much and I'm looking forward to reading this series from the beginning!

4.5 stars

Thanks to Witness Impulse and Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  | Feb 9, 2016 | edit |
While assisting in the search of an island in the River Foyle, where a special Commission is conducting the search for a man who disappeared during the Troubles, Garda Inspector Ben Devlin is confronted by the bodies of dead babies. Many are infants who were stillborn or died near birth unbaptized, and not allowed burial in consecrated ground under old Church rules. Apparently, unofficial burial grounds exist all over Ireland for such wee ones. But apart from the cillin (I think that's the term) of those nameless dead are a group of deformed infants, which seem of more recent origin -- and one of them was clearly murdered. But there are yet other problems to rise from this dig. Even before the one who is object of their search is fully unearthed, several locals are soon dead.

I love Brian McGilloway's Ben Devlin series that begins with "Borderlands", set in County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland near the border with Northern Ireland (Derry area). I have some genealogical roots in that area, so it's interesting to read books set there. There's lots of drama, because they are still dealing with much fallout from the Troubles. Devlin is a neat character (not too perfect, not too flawed) and struggles to deal with his family as the kids are growing up and his job takes up too much of his attention. He frequently has to deal with his counterparts in the North (actually, from his headquarters, Northern Ireland is almost directly due East across the Lifford Bridge over the River Foyle). It's interesting to see the official and occasionally unofficial ways the two sides interact.

This book introduced me to the work that is being done to find those who were "disappeared" by the IRA during the troubles, due to suspected collaboration with the British officials. I already returned the book to the library (it was an ILL) so I can't reference the exact terminology, but there is a law that if people provide info about where the bodies are, nothing found in the search for those victims can be used in any prosecution -- there is a particular Commission that handles these reports and searches in an effort to bring closure for the families of the missing. But what if another crime, unrelated to the Troubles, is discovered in the process? Apparently, the way the law is written, it can't be investigated, either.

This book was also very touching in dealing with the grief of those parents who lost babies, and the special grief that was felt by those whose children were relegated to informal burials in unconsecrated ground. It makes it clear that the Roman Catholic Church has changed a great deal from the old days in its teaching and practice on that matter. ( )
  tymfos | Nov 3, 2015 |
3.5 stars

Book #5 in the Ben Devlin series continues the author's theme of combining present day police investigations in the Republic of Ireland with past events tied to The Troubles.
They are called "the Disappeared", men who went missing during Ireland's bloody sectarian war & were never found. A commission was set up asking for anonymous tips as to the location of their graves so they might be recovered & provide closure for loved ones. To encourage people to come forward, there is a guarantee of no investigation or prosecution.
Islandmore, an island on the north/south border, was a popular dumping ground not just for these victims but also for unbaptized babies that couldn't be buried on church property.
The story begins as Ben is assisting the commission with a dig on the island. They got a tip concerning Declan Cleary, a man thought to be an informer who went missing in 1976. His then pregnant girlfriend Mary & their son Sean received a note pointing to the island as his final resting place. Unfortunately, they dig up more of the past than they bargained for.
Found along side Declan's remains is the skeleton of a newborn with severe deformities. Autopsy reveals the baby was murdered. And it's not the only one.
Sean is bitter that his father's killer(s) will never be brought to justice & complains to the media. Bad move. After the story hits the news, Sean & an old colleague of Declan's are found dead.
Ben is a deeply religious man & frustrated by the inability to investigate the bodies. He's also dealing with trouble on the home front. His family is tired of him always putting the job first. Sean, now 10, feels abandoned by his dad & 15 year old Penny is hanging around with a group that includes the son of a well known drug dealer. After she is assaulted by a street kid with ties to the murder of Sean Cleary, Ben is tempted to take the law into his own hands.
Complicating matters, a young woman Ben knows (from a previous book) keeps hearing a crying infant on her baby monitor. She lives in an unfinished subdivision across the street from a mysterious middle aged woman with ties to the old unwed mother's hospital.
It's a convoluted tale with individual plot lines from the past & present and the author does a great job slowly doling out the clues. It's like having a bag of puzzle pieces but no box. Some of the pieces seem straightforward but when put into the context of the larger picture they take on a completely different slant & it's only at the end when Ben learns the truth that we realize the full scope of the crimes & who the real villains are.
There are some returning characters. Old boss Olly Costello is retired but continues to be a source of info for Ben. Harry Patterson is his new superintendent & their relationship has not improved. His kids are older & he's experiencing all the joys that come with teenagers & sibling rivalry.
His wife continues to be a challenge for me. She's not very likeable & her passive/aggressive treatment of Ben is annoying. I have never felt any spark between these two. You get the feeling that if not for the kids, they would not be living under the same roof. I don't know if it's intentional but we never see any moments of tenderness between them & most of their conversations are adversarial as everything he does is wrong in her eyes.
The police procedural aspect of the story is fast paced & flows well to draw you into the the mystery. Ben himself is a compelling character, a flawed man who is committed to his job but besieged by obstacles at work & home. This is a guy who needs a vacation.
As always, the history of The Troubles is never far from current events. I've been reading Sean McKinty's trilogy at the same time which deals with that period from a Northern Ireland perspective & it's interesting to compare viewpoints.
This is a well written series & while it's not necessary to read them in order, you'll get more from each if you do. ( )
  RowingRabbit | Sep 14, 2014 |
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Declan Cleary's body has never been found, but everyone believes he was killed for informing on a friend more than 30 years ago. Now the Commission for Location of Victims' Remains is following a tip-off that he was buried on the small isle of Islandmore, in the middle of the River Foyle. Instead, the dig uncovers a baby's skeleton, and it doesn't look like death by natural causes. But evidence revealed by the commission's activities cannot lead to prosecution. Inspector Devlin is torn. He has no desire to resurrect the violent divisions of the recent past, but neither can he let a suspected murderer go unpunished. Now that the secret is out, more deaths follow. Devlin must follow his conscience, even when that puts those closest to him at terrible risk.… (more)

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