In a web of lies, who can you trust?
– Blinding Lies
[ About the Book ]
Ten years ago, Anna Clarke’s parents disappeared. The mystery haunts her, and she hopes her job in a busy city Garda Station will one day help her find answers.
The case of a man shot dead crosses her desk – and Anna is shocked to discover that the main suspect is her childhood friend Kate Crowley. Certain that Kate is innocent, Anna is determined to help her clear her name. But first she has to find her …
Tom Gallagher’s son David is dead, and Tom believes Kate is responsible. Now his older son John is missing – unable to grieve for one son until he finds the other, desperation can cause a man to do terrible things … Then the German Meier brothers descend on the city, intent on finding an item David had offered to sell them. Even Tom doesn’t know where it is, but he suspects Kate Crowley must have taken it.
Kate is on the run. She is trapped in the dead man’s city – can her old friend help her find a way out?
In a week where a political summit is taking place and the city is on high alert, Kate must struggle to stay hidden and stay alive. And Anna is drawn into the twisted race against time, falling deeper into danger.
[ My Review ]
Blinding Lies is the debut novel from Irish writer Amy Cronin. Published December 2020 with Poolbeg books it is described as ‘a gripping contemporary thriller set in Cork’ and is book 1 in a new trilogy.
The Gallagher family are single-handedly responsible for the underground scene in Cork and they run it with an iron hand. Tom Gallagher is a man who has worked hard to establish a network of loyal employees who adhere to his rules and respect his authority. With connections that stem far and wide Tom Gallagher is feared. Much of the gangland crime in Cork can be connected back to the Gallaghers but yet they appear untouchable…until now. Tom Gallagher has two sons, David and John. In time Tom Gallagher planned on handing over the reins of his empire to John. John was more dependable, more solid whereas David was edgy and resorting to more violence in public. Shame on the family was something that Tom Gallagher did not accept but also, any pain wrought on his family would mean retribution. When David Gallagher is found dead Tom Gallagher’s fury is unleashed. He will resort to any means to find the person responsible for killing his son. But Tom Gallagher has more bad news landing at his feet. His son John has gone missing. Like a tortured animal, Tom Gallagher embarks on a savage and brutal mission to stop this attack on his family.
Meanwhile Anna Clarke is feeling the pressure at work. Her position in the admin staff of a major city centre Garda (police) station is one where she has always felt a great buzz but with an international political conference about to take place in the city, tensions are rising. This is Cork City’s time to shine, to show the world that it can stand alongside other great cities hosting such a successful event. Murder and mayhem on the streets of Cork is the last thing the senior Garda authorities are looking for so all available resources are directed toward solving the Gallagher case before blood runs freely on the streets of Cork. Anna Clarke sees a name on the paperwork associated with David Gallagher’s murder investigation and is sickened to the core. She knows the main suspect, Kate Crowley. Anna was one of her best friends in primary school. What has Kate Crowley got herself involved in and why?
Anna Clarke is the main protagonist of this novel and Amy Cronin uses Blinding Lies as a platform to build Anna’s background for the reader. Anna has her own personal tragedy, one that has haunted her for years. Anna chose a career with An Garda Síochána deliberately in the hope of using her statistical skills to perhaps help her uncover unresolved secrets from her own past. Anna is a black belt Taekwondo teacher in her spare time. She loves her morning gym sessions and lives alone in her old family residence in Kinsale, a gorgeous waterfront town forty minutes outside the city. Anna has always enjoyed her independent lifestyle but this new case has her uneasy as she tries to unravel why Kate Crowley is involved. Anna is irritated by the lack of respect from more senior members of staff. There is a belittling and derogatory tone to many remarks directed her way but this does not stop Anna digging deeper.
Blinding Lies is a novel that goes right down into the nasty underbelly of crime in Cork City. Involving both local and international gangs, there is plenty of violence played out through the pages as revenge is never pretty in gangland warfare.
There are possibly one too many stories wrapped up in this book, with a multitude of characters, but overall Blinding Lies is a seriously impressive debut. Amy Cronin clearly has a passion for writing and I love the fact that a pandemic was the driving force that finally enabled her to put her thoughts on paper.
Blinding Lies has been languishing in Amy Cronin’s mind for quite some time – “I found a chapter that I had written ten years ago on an old laptop. It was the starting point of Blinding Lies. After ten years I still loved that chapter and decided to see if it could become a book. I gave it some time, letting the story ferment, turning over plot points. I had a main character I loved, a bad-guy that intrigued me, and an ending that made me hop out of my seat – the fire was lit. If I am honest, living through the pandemic was the fuel to keep that fire burning.” (Ref – writing.ie)
Blinding Lies is a gritty, layered and fast-moving read that grabs the attention from the opening pages. It’s a great start to a new series, with Amy Cronin delivering a wonderful cliff-hanger ending that will have all readers very impatient for the next book. And of course I am an absolute sucker for a Cork setting!!
[ Bio ]
Amy Cronin is a writer from Cork, Ireland. She is a fan of thrillers and crime novels, and loves the escapism such books offer.
Blinding Lies is Amy’s debut novel, and part of a trilogy, published with Poolbeg Press.
Twitter ~ @AJCronin1