‘Last Orders,’ by Caimh McDonnell

Last Orders

Phil’s ideas were a lot like children: they could be wonderful or a nightmare, but regardless, you couldn’t leave them on their own for very long, or bad things would happen.

Caimh McDonnell is definitely having us on. The third book of his “Dublin Trilogy” proved to be a prequel, and it’s this fourth book (which makes it a tetralogy at this stage) that finally wraps the story up. Sort of. A note at the end informs us that a further sequel is coming.

Ah well, it’s all fun. In Last Orders, a couple old bodies are dug up in the course of a construction project, and we know (if we recall the prequel) that the bodies belong to two guys one of our heroes, old Bunny McGarry, killed 18 years ago. All in a good cause, of course. They were killers (even though one of them was an FBI agent), and he was saving a good woman’s life.

But now the specter of discovery hangs over Bunny, who has never entirely recovered from the tortures he suffered in the second book. Retired from the police force, he’s supposed to be part of the detective agency started by his friends Paul and Brigit, but his heart isn’t in it. Mostly he whiles away his time drinking and making a spectacle of himself in public.

Meanwhile Paul has become obsessed with a duel of practical jokes between his agency and a rival agency. This leads to somebody actually getting injured, leading to a lawsuit and the impending death of the agency, unless a way can be found to discredit the plaintiff. Also the course of true love is not running smooth between him and Brigit.

Last Orders is essentially a serious story, told in a hilarious way. Lots of laughs all through, along with some genuinely poignant moments. Cautions for language and immature themes. I loved it.

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