The Rage by Gene Kerrigan

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The Rage by Gene Kerrigan

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Louise Laurie
Reviewed by Louise Laurie
Summary: Vincent Naylor, just out of prison, is bad news - very bad news. He's stepping up his crime portfolio as he wants better rewards, but this will involve other low-life scum, the police, innocent individuals and even an elderly, retired nun.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: June 2011
Publisher: Harvill Secker
ISBN: 978-1846552564

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DS Bob Tidey has been round the block a few times. He's middle-aged, has a less-than-perfect home life, but on the upside, he loves his job - especially court work and court appearances. Bob Tidey felt at home here. He's going to have his hands full shortly. Enter Vincent, the other main character. Fresh out of an Irish prison, he's strutting all over the place. You could say he's looking for trouble. Fed up with small-beer crimes, he wants to land a big one. A big one with big rewards and then he can put his feet up.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, ex-nun Maura is living a quiet, uneventful life. She doesn't see too many friends and neighbours throughout the week, so she compensates and has regular 'peeks' out of her front window. She's now becoming concerned about a car parked in the street nearby. All she can think is that it looks odd, it doesn't move from one day to the next and it's beginning to spook her. But are these just the idle thoughts of a lonely, elderly person? Time will tell.

We learn a lot about the distasteful Vincent. Always on the lookout for a freebie (he doesn't pay rent, for example) he also seems to have a chip on his shoulder. But he and his brother are close. And as the story develops and as the action heats up (which takes place in and around Dublin) it all reads like a thriller. Kerrigan has a nice line in irony, in descriptions and dialogue and it all ripples along nicely. In amongst all this action, there is also some violence.

An ambitious crime is planned by Vincent and co. They're all reasonably happy to chip in and do what is necessary in order to get their cut at the end. Everyone hopes it all goes to plan. At the back of their minds they're aware that some bugger could step out of line. Kerrigan is extremely topical and up-to-date with his banker bashing (that's putting it mildly) and the collapse of the local economy. And as the chosen location of the book is Dublin it's perhaps not unexpected that the troubled history of the area, the IRA, bombs and strong political and religious feelings are mentioned. I must say that I warmed quickly to Kerrigan's style. While at times it's thriller-esque, it's also got a subtle touch which allows his readers to get to know his characters - especially the main ones.

While I generally enjoyed the book, I didn't exactly love it. It didn't seem to have that 'wow' factor that I was expecting. And as one of Kerrigan's previous books Dark Times In The City was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger, I opened this book with somewhat high expectations which were not fully fulfilled, I'm afraid. But all that said, an enjoyable and entertaining read.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

If you enjoyed The Rage, you'll also love The Guards by Ken Bruen or All Her Fault by Andrea Mara.

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