The Last Four Days Of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey

From TheBookbag
Jump to navigationJump to search


The Last Four Days Of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey

1594634858.jpg
Buy The Last Four Days Of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Stephen Leach
Reviewed by Stephen Leach
Summary: A darkly amusing tale set in modern-day Dublin. Not for the faint of heart.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: May 2015
Publisher: Riverhead Books
ISBN: 978-1594633447

Share on: Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram



Paddy Buckley is a grieving widower who has worked for years for Gallagher's, a long-established — some say the best — funeral home in Dublin. One night, driving home after an unexpected encounter with a client, Paddy hits a pedestrian crossing the street. He pulls over and gets out of his car, intending to do the right thing. As he bends over to help the man, he recognizes him. It's Donal Cullen, brother of one of the most notorious mobsters in Dublin. And he's dead. Shocked and scared, Paddy jumps back in his car and drives away before anyone notices what's happened.

The next morning, the Cullen family calls Gallagher's to oversee the funeral arrangements. Paddy, to his dismay, is given the task of meeting with the grieving Vincent Cullen, Dublin's crime boss, and Cullen's entourage. When events go awry, Paddy is plunged into an unexpected eddy of intrigue, deceit, and treachery.

First things first. For a debut writer, Jeremy Massey's style is just about perfect. It's almost Spartan in its simplicity, very tight and to the point: there wasn't a single page of this book I felt was overwritten. The contrast between life and death is used to great effect here. Massey doesn't spare us any detail about the duties of an undertaker, and the dead characters feel every bit as real and vivid as the live ones.

Massey manages to throw in more twists than the summary suggests. There's a particularly excruciating subplot midway through – I won't spoil it, but it's the blackest of cringe comedy. This borders on being farcical once or twice, but it doesn't lighten the tone of the novel in the least. There's a heavy feeling of tension built up throughout the novel, which is wonderfully discharged by the climax.

It's almost impossible not to like Paddy – he's the quintessential everyman we've seen a thousand times before, trying to play the nice guy and please everyone whilst simultaneously digging himself into a deeper and deeper well of trouble, and I was on tenterhooks waiting for the inevitable fallout when the mobsters discovered the truth. However, the supporting cast were pretty bland and more than once I managed to forget who was who, which undermined the emotional stakes towards the end of the book when Paddy gets more than one person involved in his mess.

The ending jars a bit with the rest of the story, though. While there's some genuine emotion to be felt, there's also a frustrating lack of resolution that left me feeling as though the last chapter ended a few pages early. On the other hand, I didn't see it coming at all.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag for review.

If you enjoy crime, or Irish fiction, or both, then I'd recommend The Guards by Ken Bruen as the first of a series you might enjoy. You might also like There's Only One Danny Garvey by David F Ross.

Please share on: Facebook Facebook, Follow us on Twitter Twitter and Follow us on Instagram Instagram

Buy The Last Four Days Of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Last Four Days Of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.

Buy The Last Four Days Of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey at Amazon You could get a free audio download of The Last Four Days Of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.

Buy The Last Four Days Of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Last Four Days Of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey at Amazon.com.

Comments

Like to comment on this review?

Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.