More famous for its infamous “lake effect” winter blizzards which have dumped as much as 22 inches of snow on the city in one storm than for its crime headlines, Buffalo, New York, is the focus of the hunt for a serial killer in Stephan Talty’s new novel.
Set in the Irish stronghold of South Buffalo, the story begins as Absalom “Abbie” Kearney returns to the city where her adopted father was one of the area’s most revered and respected police officers. With a Harvard degree and a detective’s badge, Abbie finds it difficult to earn the respect her step-father received from the members of the community.
When it becomes apparent that a sadistic killer is on the loose, Abbie seizes the opening to prove she can handle the investigation and earn the respect of her colleagues. Unfortunately, at every turn the young woman discovers that a cultural wall of silence blocks her way.
A secretive Irish organization that includes some of the members of the police force is apparently determined to find the killer and mete out its own form of justice before the official inquiry can locate the psychopath.
As even her own family becomes drawn into the intrigue, Abbie realizes that she is not only battling wits with a very clever psychopath but also with a group of individuals who have some deep seated secrets that run generations deep.
If this first novel featuring BPD Decretive Abbie Kearney is an indication of things to come, you’ll want to get in on the ground floor so you’ll be fully familiar with the heroine’s background and personality before she tackles her next case. This is a series that may well make Buffalo famous for something other than the city’s harsh winters!
In this explosive debut thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of Empire of Blue Water, a brilliant homicide detective returns home, where she confronts a city’s dark demons and her own past while pursuing a brutal serial killer on a vengeful rampage.
Absalom “Abbie” Kearney grew up an outsider in her own hometown. Even being the adopted daughter of a revered cop couldn’t keep Abbie’s troubled past from making her a misfit in the working-class Irish American enclave of South Buffalo. And now, despite a Harvard degree and a police detective’s badge, she still struggles to earn the respect and trust of those she’s sworn to protect. But all that may change, once the killing starts.
When Jimmy Ryan’s mangled corpse is found in a local church basement, this sadistic sacrilege sends a bone-deep chill through the winter-whipped city. It also seems to send a message—one that Abbie believes only the fiercely secretive citizens of the neighborhood known as “the County” understand. But in a town ruled by an old-world code of silence and secrecy, her search for answers is stonewalled at every turn, even by fellow cops. Only when Abbie finds a lead at the Gaelic Club, where war stories, gossip, and confidences flow as freely as the drink, do tongues begin to wag—with desperate warnings and dire threats. And when the killer’s mysterious calling card appears on her own doorstep, the hunt takes a shocking twist into her own family’s past. As the grisly murders and grim revelations multiply, Abbie wages a chilling battle of wits with a maniac who sees into her soul, and she swears to expose the County’s hidden history—one bloody body at a time.
With Black Irish, Stephen Talty stakes a place beside Jo Nesbø, John Sandford, and Tana French on the cutting edge of psychological crime thrillers.