‘I am going to die.
I know this as surely as I know I don’t want to’
Beneath The Surface is the second in the Inspector Tom Reynolds Mystery series written by Irish author Jo Spain.
I have to admit to not having read With Our Blessing (Book 1) so I was concerned I would be lost within the plot-line as some of the characters would have been introduced previously. All was not lost!!
I received my copy of Beneath The Surface from NetGalley and the publishers Quercus in return for my as ever truthful and honest review.
‘Did I know it would come to this? That I was playing Russian Roulette? I would give anything to turn back time and to be with my girls. There is no shot at redemption. I am going to die. The gun is in my eye-line as the second bullet is fired. That’s the one that kills me.’
Late at night, two powerful men meet in a secret location to discuss a long nurtured plan about to come to fruition. One is desperate to know there is nothing standing in their way – the other assures him everything is taken care of.
Hours later, a high-ranking government official called Ryan Finnegan is brutally slain in the most secure building in Ireland – Leinster House, the seat of parliament. Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team are called in to uncover the truth behind the murder.
At first, all the evidence hints at a politically motivated crime, until a surprise discovery takes the investigation in a dramatically different direction. Suddenly the motive for murder has got a lot more personal. . . but who benefits the most from Ryan’s death?’
Beneath The Surface is a novel that I would advise dedicating proper reading time to. Jo Spain introduces us to quite a number of characters. We get their personal stories and their work situation and these get referred back to on numerous occasions, so have your wits about you!
Leinster House is a marvelous setting for this novel. Built in the mid-eighteenth century, it became the home of the Irish Parliament after the War of Independence. A building full of history, but also a building where one can hide ones secrets in the many nooks & crannies that exist.
Detective Inspector Reynolds is summoned from a special weekend he is spending with his wife to attend the scene of a crime at Leinster House. Driving through the streets of Dublin in the early hours, they arrive at Leinster House and are led down into a tunnel. There they are met with the body of Ryan Finnegan, horrifically murdered, lying in the arms of a ‘greenish-hued‘ angel type sculpture.
‘Finnegan’s one remaining eye was wide open, it’s glassy surface caught in a petrified moment. Where his other eye should have been was a bloody cavity. His mouth was contorted in agony’
And so begins a very complex tale of political lies and deceit.
Jo Spain has experience working as a parliamentary assistant in Leinster House and her knowledge shines through from the beginning. The backstabbing, the pay-offs, the intrigue, the suspense….all here!
Reynolds and his sidekick Ray try to unravel the mystery of Ryan Finnegan’s death. They find themselves caught up in something bigger and soon realise that there is a lot at stake for a lot of people.
Many of the individuals in the story consider the ‘rewards of success’ the ultimate achievement, not caring who or what falls to the wayside along the way. These are powerful people with the financial and other means to cover their tracks.
Why was Ryan Finnegan murdered so callously?
What secret was he hiding?
As the reasons for Ryan’s death unravel, the reader is taken down a very surprising path. I was completely NOT expecting it!!
Don’t worry no spoilers from me!!!
You will just have to pick up a copy to find out yourself.
Jo Spain has written a great novel with all the characteristics you would expect from a crime novel worth reading. You get a great murder story, but you are also introduced to the inner workings of the body politic of a small but rather complex nation…Ireland.
If you wish to purchase a copy of Jo Spain’s novel please follow the link
I would like to thank Quercus, Jo Spain and NetGalley for my ARC of Beneath The Surface.
Please let me know if you pick up a copy. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Meet Jo Spain:
Jo Spain’s first novel, With our Blessing, was one of seven finalists in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition 2015. It was named as an Irish Times crime fiction book of the year by Declan Burke in 2015 and is an Irish top ten bestseller. Her second novel, Beneath the Surface, is due for release this coming week.
A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children. Jo has worked as a political advisor on the economy in the Irish parliament and has been vice-chair of the business body InterTrade Ireland for the last five years.
Jo’s debut novel, the first in a crime fiction series, is set against a background of the infamous Irish Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby homes. The author’s own father was born in one such home in Dublin and the novel’s backdrop was constructed based on the in-depth research she undertook while attempting to trace her family roots.
Her favourite writers include Pierre LeMaitre, Fred Vargas, Louise Penny, Jo Nesbo, Ann Cleeves, Val McDermid, Karin Fossum and Agatha Christie.