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Borderlands by Brian McGilloway
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Borderlands (edition 2007)

by Brian McGilloway

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2762441,007 (3.61)30
Member:reviewingtheevidence
Title:Borderlands
Authors:Brian McGilloway
Info:Macmillan New Writing (2007), Hardcover, 243 pages
Collections:Your library
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Borderlands by Brian McGilloway

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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
"Borderlands" is a competent mystery and a promising beginning to Brian McGilloway's 'Inspector Devlin' series. However, there's room for improvement. The plot is well-constructed, the pace is fine, but character development is lacking and the writing is, well, boring.

The story, as we often see, is more complex than initially thought. The body of a young lady is found in the borderland area between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and the police force begins the job of solving the mystery of her death. It's complicated by a number of factors: the proximity to the border and the fact that police forces from 2 countries are interested in the investigation, local crime figures, drugs, Irish politics, and, seemingly at the middle of it all, a ring found on the young lady's finger. Again, the plot is nicely done, maintaining and building interest throughout. The conclusion wouldn't have been suspected early in the book, but solid police work and some luck led to it. Lots of violence and murder along the way, maybe a little too much?

Devlin, seemingly the 'star' of the series, is a caricature in that he's a blend of nearly every detective in modern crime writing: competent, heart of gold, doesn't always follow procedures, personal flaws, physically capable, somewhat irresistible to the ladies. His 'spin' is that he's Irish, Catholic, and a little more family oriented than most. It's a short book clocking in a a bit over 200 pages- I'd normally consider that a good thing, but it didn't provide much opportunity to do deeper into the characters of the main players.

The writing was competent, but almost too unadorned and uninteresting. I liked the 'Irishness' of the conversations and names, but the descriptions of the terrain and so forth were bland. I just felt the writing took too much of a back seat to the intricacies of the story.

Brian McGilloway is definitely a writer to watch and Borderlands was a good start for his series. I hope that further installations show growth in matching the excitement of his stories to his writing style. ( )
  gmmartz | Dec 11, 2016 |
I rate this one at 3.5 stars, as it's well written and had interesting, realistic characters. Looking forward to reading more from this author. ( )
  Gingermama | Jan 24, 2016 |
I read the second in the Inspector Devlin series, Gallows Lane, first. This is the first in the series, and it would be extremely difficult to summarize the book without giving away huge spoilers. I’ll just say that it involves the investigation into the deaths of several young people, all connected by a ring, a woman who disappeared many years before, financial misdeeds by a politician, possibly the IRA, and some policemen.

Then there’s also something that’s been ripping up Devlin’s neighbor’s sheep. The neighbor is sure it’s Frank, Devlin’s daughter’s dog.

A really good police procedural with so many twists and blind alleys it’s difficult to keep up. My only complaint is that, unlike Adrian McKinty, McGilloway isn’t as skillful in delivering a sense of place which I especially like in stories that take place in Ireland.

Nevertheless, I look forward to the third in the series. I’ll buy all of them. I will also have to sample his other series with DS Lucy Black as the protagonist. ( )
  ecw0647 | Mar 20, 2015 |
Set on the border of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Borderlands is a solid police procedure introducing Inspector Devlin of the An Garda. I found the book to be both well written and interesting with a complex plot revolving around past misdeeds and the seeking of revenge.

What at first appears to be a case of a young girl being murdered soon evolves into a gritty tale where the past plays an important role . When a second murder takes place, it becomes apparent that there may be a connection between these cases and a much earlier disappearance. The investigation moves forward slowly due to some carelessness and miscalculation by the police, as well as their having to trace and acquire old records. The author’s use of some interesting red herrings and a few side stories, keep the reader engaged and wanting to read on.

I particularly enjoyed the setting and the characters, a mix of police, petty criminals, local politicians and travellers, and found the give and take between both the police forces of the two countries interesting. I liked the twists and turns the story took and I will be continuing on with more books in this series. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jul 13, 2014 |
First in a series set along the borderlands of Northern Ireland and the Republic. The setting has all kinds of intriguing fodder for a crime novel, and McGilloway deploys them aptly. His use of language is first-rate. ( )
  eliza.graham.180 | Apr 28, 2014 |
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For Tanya, Ben and Tom, and for my parents.
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It was not beyond reason that Angel Cashell's final resting place should straddle the border.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 033045255X, Paperback)

The corpse of local teenager Angela Cashell is found on the Tyrone- Donegal border, between the North and South of Ireland, in an area known as the borderlands. Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin heads the investigation: the only clues are a gold ring placed on the girl's finger and an old photograph, left where she died. Then another teenager is murdered, and things become further complicated when Devlin unearths a link between the recent killings and the disappearance of a prostitute twenty-five years earlier -- a case in which he believes one of his own colleagues is implicated. As a thickening snow storm blurs the border between North and South, Devlin finds the distinction between right and wrong, vengeance and justice, and even police-officer and criminal becoming equally unclear. A dazzling and lyrical debut crime novel, Borderlands marks the beginning of a compelling new series featuring Inspector Benedict Devlin. 'Brian McGilloway's command of plot and assurance of language make it difficult to believe that Borderlands is his debut.' - The Times 'A mystery of labyrinthine complexity' - Sunday Telegraph

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:13 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Detective and mystery stories. The corpse of local teenager Angela Cashell is found on the Tyrone-Donegal border, between the North and South of Ireland, in an area known as the borderlands. Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin heads the investigation: the only clues are a gold ring placed on the girl's finger and an old photograph, left where she died. Then another teenager is murdered, and things become further complicated when Devlin unearths a link between the recent killings and the disappearance of a prostitute 25 years earlier - a case in which he believes one of his own colleagues is implicated. As a thickening snow storm blurs the border between North and South, Devlin finds the distinction between right and wrong, vengeance and justice, and even police officer and criminal, becoming equally unclear.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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