‘So, how did you become the Granny Whisperer then?’
A fair question indeed!
A Man with One of Those Faces is a very funny book.
Written by Irishman Caimh McDonnell, it was published by McFori Ink earlier this month. I received my copy from the author in exchange for my as ever honest review.
I hope you enjoy!!
Thrilling shouldn’t be this funny, funny shouldn’t be this thrilling.
‘The first time somebody tried to kill him it was an accident.
The second time was deliberate.
Now Paul Mulchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violence. Together, they must solve one of the most notorious crimes in Irish history…
…or else they’ll be history.’
Paul Mulchrone has lead an unhappy life. His youth was misspent, mixing with the wrong people and avoiding the law where possible.
Indebted to a relative who has passed away, he has to carry out six hours of voluntary charity work a week. Paul chooses to carry out this work in the local hospice, St Kilda’s. Surely a safe place where nothing can happen to him?
Paul has a talent. He has ‘one of those faces’, which mean that the elderly people he visits think he is someone they know. They are happy to see him visit them and chat to him with the complete understanding that he is a relative or friend. He is company for them at a time when many of them have nobody else. He soon gains a reputation among the working staff of the hospice as ‘The Granny Whisperer’.
One day everything changes when an extremely unfortunate event takes place.
The routine that Paul had established in his life gets thrown out the window as utter chaos descends.
What ensues is a story filled with the Irish wit and comic timing of a bunch of fantastic characters, all intertwined over hilarious and somewhat dangerous events.
There are a number of lead characters in the book, each with a story to tell.
Brigid Conroy, a nurse from Leitrim, with a passion for crime fiction and a unhealthy knowledge of cases and criminals.
DI Jimmy Stewart, close to retirement, who’s looking for an easy exit from the force.
Bunny McGarry, the renegade Corkman, who, even though a member of the force, works within his own parameters. Bunny is a law onto himself.
Gerry Fallon, a Dublin crimelord, without fear or remorse, who has a past he is protecting and nobody will be allowed to stand in his way of keeping it so.
In the book you will come across Grinner McNair, the Neillis family, Mick Sherry…all portrayed so well that it is not hard to visualize their faces.
I love the wit of Roddy Doyle and Lisa McInerney and I would categorize Caimh McDonnell in the same bracket.
‘”What the fuck? It smells like someone baked a shite!!” It may have lacked in bedside manner, but it was an accurate description’
Jimmy Stewart on a scene with his sidekick, Wilson.
Stewart has been a member of An Garda Siochána for a very long time. He has seen about everything that there is to be seen.
‘The biggest thing to remember about criminals is they’re mostly not that smart. In the 1970s – the IRA needed money to fund their blah,blah, blah, so they ripped off banks and post offices. The ordinary decent criminals saw this and they copied it, so the next thing you knew every gobshite who could cut holes in a tea cosy thought he was John Dillinger. So many banks were getting ripped off, they were having to open a separate queue for withdrawals at gunpoint’
Jimmy Stewart is not a happy man. He is aware of the seriousness of this crime that has landed on his desk. There are people involved in positions of importance with very personal agendas. Jimmy is annoyed and angry. His Dublin humour and sarcastic charm is evident in all he says and does.
Bunny McGarry……well I so loved Bunny. Maybe it’s the Cork connection but everything about Bunny appealed to me in this story. He’s an alcoholic, a loner, a man with nothing to lose. He uses extremely unorthodox methods to reach his end game with the assistance of Mabel his hurley. For any of you not familiar with the hurley, it is a piece of wood in the shape of a flat type club that is used in the Gaelic game of Hurling. From a young age it is very common for youths to be roaming the streets with their hurley in hand, pucking a sliotar (ball) to each other or in the air. Hurling is HUGE in Cork, so the idea of a mature member of An Garda Siochána patrolling the streets, still with his hurley in hand, is a very funny vision.
‘”Alright Bunny, you’ve made your point. I’ve seen this movie too. We both know you’re not really going to drop me, so drag me up while you still can and we’ll talk this out”
“Is that so?”
“It’s a good bluff but the joke’s over.”
“Fair point”, said Bunny
And then he dropped him.’
You gotta love him 🙂
Paul and Brigid become an unlikely team.
Along with McGarry and Stewart, they become involved in a spree of unfortunate events, where they quickly move between dangerous scenarios, in this fast paced escapade through the streets of Dublin, the Wicklow hills and further west.
If you have never been to Ireland, if you have never read a book so laced with Irish wit and comic timing, may I suggest you pick up A Man with One of Those Faces. Caimh McDonnell has written a hilarious novel that will brighten up your day and most definitely bring more than a few smiles to your face.
I was thrilled to read that Caimh is currently hard at work on a follow up book called ‘The Day That Never Comes’, with more great shenanigans in store from Paul, Brigid and Bunny….
I can’t wait!!
In the meantime you can pick up a copy of A Man With One Of Those Faces here:
Let’s find out a little about the man himself:
Caimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats.
In his time on the British stand-up circuit, he has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He performs regularly at all the major clubs and is equally at home doing a set or acting as MC.
He regularly supports Sarah Millican on tour and has also brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and once, the near east (Norwich). He brings a new stand-up show to the Edinburgh festival pretty much every year, mainly as an excuse to eat things that’ve been deep fried.
His debut novel is ‘A Man With One of Those Faces’ He considers it the best thing he has ever done.
He also created the irreverent live show Panelbeaters with Gary Delaney, which is soon to take up monthly residencies at the Comedy Store Manchester and The Stand Newcastle. It will then be podcasted out to mankind in general in a last desperate attempt to fend off nuclear war.
To learn more about this funny man, check out Caimh’s website over at:
You will find him tweeting at: http://www.twitter.com/caimh