The Pact ~ A Detective Locklear mystery
‘Secrets of the past
Crimes of the present’
The Pact is the fifth novel by Irish writer Carol Coffey and it has just been published by Poolbeg Press. Carol Coffey, a teacher by profession, has worked in the area of special education for thirty years. Using her extensive background in disabilities, she always aims to bring the world of special needs to the wider population through her writing.
The Pact, as well as being a homicide/crime novel, looks at our sense of identity and how vital that is for our emotional self development.
The Pact is set in Virginia among the Mennonite community and I was quite blown away with the detail and the atmospheric ambiance created by Carol Coffey. I actually would have expected The Pact to be written by an American writer!!
Here are my thoughts…
About the Book:
When Richmond homicide detective Locklear is called in to investigate the attempted murder of a young Mennonite in a Virginian farming town, he is instantly drawn into a web of secrecy and lies spanning back to the American Civil War.
Frustrated by the refusal of locals to co-operate with the investigation, Locklear realises that to find the perpetrator he must first solve a 150-year-old mystery. With his leads restricted to historical records, the Native American is running out of time to save the orphaned boy’s siblings from a similar fate. As the body count in a seeming local feud rises, Locklear is no nearer to solving the most complex case of his career.
Flanked by his trusted colleague Jo Mendoza and local cop Carter, Locklear finds himself embroiled in a silent religious community where nothing is as it seems and everyone has something to hide.
The Pact is a book that totally surprised me. I went into it with no expectations, as I haven’t read any books by Carol Coffey before, even though this is her fifth. All Carol Coffey’s books carry a different theme, as Carol hopes to introduce her readers to new worlds.
‘My debut, The Butterfly State, centers on a young girl whose communication difficulties caused by autism result in her incarceration in a psychiatric institution for disturbed children.
The Penance Room is set in Australia and provides an insight into the impact of deafness and it’s resultant isolation on the emotional well-being of a child.
Winter Flowers explores the impact of generational dysfunction on the development of children.
The Incredible Life of Jonathan Doe, set in America, delves into our perception of identity, about finding out who we are and where we truly belong.’
(Courtesy of Poolbeg Books)
The Pact is a Detective Locklear mystery. He is a homicide detective with a native American background. His uncertainty growing up, with a mother who kept on moving, led Locklear down the road of alcohol addiction. With no family or place to really call home. the police force is now all he knows. An attempted murder of a young man in a small farming town takes Locklear deep into the Mennonite community, where he attempts to unravel a 150-year-old mystery. Locklear is not one to step lightly, when investigating a case and his attitude is far from appreciated by the local community. These folk have their ways, traditions going back many years and they do not take kindly to a stranger upsetting the apple-cart.
Locklear, with the assistance of a local member of the force, Carter and one of his own, Mendoza, works to uncover the depth of an aged old feud that has the folk of this small town in fear and very unwilling to co-operate.
There is a family of siblings at the centre of this case, a family that have been shunned by the locals for historical reasons. As Locklear and his colleagues attempt to unravel the reasons for this, they are stonewalled at every turn.
As the locals keep quiet, the body count rises. What was initially a case involving an attempted murder soon turns into a full murder investigation.
Money and power, corruption and fear have tentacles that reach into all communities, even those that step off the wheel of modern day living. Locklear and his colleagues are faced with a race against time to discover the truth before more bodies are discovered.
Detective Locklear is wonderfully depicted by Carol Coffey. His frustrations with this case and his courage in facing down his own personal demons are vividly portrayed. As a reader we stand beside him as he faces down that glass of whiskey. We feel his disappointments, his grievances with this case and his dogged determination to unravel the truth.
The Mennonite community hold very dear the principal of peace and justice, with an abhorrence to violence and war. The heinous crimes that are witnessed in The Pact are against everything this community cares for. Their fear is palpable as they attempt to protect their livelihood, leading to many closed doors and unanswered questions.
With a fascination for behaviour, Carol Coffey brings her experiences of what she has studied to her writing and this is very much evident to the reader in the manner in which her characters are depicted. The Pact is a crime fiction novel at the core but, I also feel that it is also much more than that.
The Pact is a very compelling read, packed with atmosphere and with a dark and brooding story to tell. Folk will always take advantage of the innocence of others and in The Pact we witness the damage and the pain that this destructive force can have on a community.
Enthralling. Atmospheric. Stirring.
Purchase Link ~ The Pact
Carol Coffey lives in Co. Wicklow.
Her working background has been dominated by caring – she worked in Geriatric care and as a House Manager in a home for autism.
Carol has studied in the field of Counselling, Education and Disability.
The Pact is her fifth book.