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Posted: January 22, 2023

Enjoy something outside the norm

Book Review

By Derryll White

Brady, John (2010).  The Coast Road.

“We may have bad weather in Ireland, but the sun shines in the hearts of the people and that keeps us all warm.”    – Marianne Williamson

John Brady may live in Canada but his heart clearly belongs to Ireland. There is a lot in ‘The Coast Road’ about the Celtic Tiger boom, and the bust. Brady clearly articulates the legacy of crime left behind by the financial implosion.

At the same time Inspector Matt Minogue laments the loss of his son who, like many of Ireland’s youth, follows the hi-tech employment stream to America. There is a lot of touching lament in the story – Ireland fading in the growing pressures of the invading world.

John Brady portrays Ireland in all its ethnic glory – divided by the clear callings of place, religion and class. It is so compelling that, like Donne Leone, William Butler Yeats, James Lee Burke, James Joyce and Raymond Chandler, the place becomes a major character in the storyline.

Matt Minogue certainly brings the thrills and mystery to the text, but he is no shallow gumshoe.  Nuns, Priests, eastern European gangsters, and Ireland’s own devil’s spawn get pulled into Minogues’ passage down the Coast Road.

This is a novel, and a series, that many wide-ranging readers will enjoy, something outside the norm.


Excerpts from the novel:

 A TASTE – Kilmartin sauntered to his old spot, and eased his shoulder onto the partition.

“Whiskey, Liam, in the name of God.  And something for this oddball beside me.”

Minogue made a survey of the pub while Kilmartin checked his mobile.  Ryan’s was long a favourite with staff from the Garda HQ nearby.  It had deflected the Celtic Tiger a good bit with window boxes and a restaurant, but here, a stone’s throw from a still-tidal River Liffey, it had managed to stay a pub.

“Celebrating are we, gentlemen.”

Liam had been a barman here since the Vikings had found a way across the river.  He lived in an invisible fog of skepticism, one that rarely slid to outright scorn.  A working-class Dubliner, Liam’s questions were usually rhetorical.

THE SECRETS – “You’re not helping yourself or anyone else by taking this denial line.”

“There’s no denial.  There’s work and I’m behind.”

“Listen to reason for a minute, will you!  S and I coppers are pit bulls?  They’ll look at a Senior Guard – you I’m talking about again – and straightaway the attitude is, ‘well he must be in on it too.’  Why?  ‘Because he’s been on the job so long – anyone on the job this long must be in on it.’  See?  That’s how they think.”

“There’s no ‘it.’  There’s nothing to be ‘in on.’”

“The fact is,” Kilmartin went on.  “They’re freaking at HQ.  Somebody’s put two and two together there.  It’s the whole out-of-control scenario with the gangs.  The murders, the bank jobs, the floods and floods of drugs, the Chinese massage stuff.  It’s everything happening at the same time, the whole shemozzle.”

“And their great confederation of minds there, or their software, tells them…?”

“Do I have to spell it out for you?  Jesus, I shouldn’t even be talking to you.  Okay, here it is in plain English: inside job.  Got that?  Yes, they’re taking it as a given that there’s insiders in the Guards for years now.  They’ll tear down anything.  You see?”

“I don’t, actually.”

“I can’t keep banging my head against a wall here.  I know you’re the goods.  I know I can trust you.  So I speak my mind here.  This is no time for you to be a gobshite.  These fellas are going all-out.  Like I said, top secret, under the radar, no-holds-barred.  Nothing in writing, no section appointments.  If they have to take out a few people to get at someone, they don’t care.”

– Derryll White once wrote books but now chooses to read and write about them.  When not reading he writes history for the web at

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