Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Niamh O'Connor, and tormenting your protagonist

We’re the tail end of our family trip to Ireland, and squeezing in one last visit to a favorite place – the Roisin Dubh pub and music venue in Galway.  The pub is a lot bigger than the last time I saw it, but just as great a spot to find a pint and a song.  And to unravel a mystery or two.

Continuing with Irish thriller writers, I’ve been reading If I Never See You Again by Niamh O’Connor, Dublin crime writer and journalist.  O’Connor creates immediate empathy for her protagonist, detective superintendent Jo Birmingham.  Jo is juggling departmental pressure and disrespect from colleagues, children (teenage and infant), money troubles, and a marriage running what looks like its final lap.  If it weren’t for the serial killer running amok in her district, she’d have nothing to look forward to at all.  For writers aiming to raise the stakes for their own heroes and heroines – especially in realistic circumstances – O’Connor offers great examples.

I picked up my copy of O’Connor’s novel at Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on Middle Street, which offers some of the best browsing in Ireland.  Drop by and pick up something to enjoy over your pint.

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