A Man With One of Those Faces by Caimh McDonnell
Paul Muchrone is a loner who spends his days in voluntary work as a ‘granny whisperer’, talking to the elderly whom no one else has time for. When Nurse Brigit Conroy, nightmare driver and consumer of all things crime-related, asks Paul to visit one last patient, Paul’s life takes the most alarming turn.
Before long Paul and Brigit are on the run, and trying to stay one step ahead of whoever is attempting to kill them.
Humour is often used in crime novels or thrillers to ease the tension before diving back into whatever crisis the protagonists find themselves. This is done to change the pace or used as a page turning device, because the reader knows the temporary lull in action is merely the eye of the storm.
A Man With One of Those Faces is a masterclass in how to extend humour so it becomes an integral part of a novel, while putting the characters in constant jeopardy. A feat which requires the skills of someone who understands how to work an audience. As a stand-up comedian, Caimh McDonnell is certainly well qualified in this department.
His observations pick up on all the minutiae of human nature, blow them up out of all proportion, then really make them work hard for their living. The prose and narrative is spot on. The characters inhabiting this hilarious, yet gripping story are just wonderful. It is hard to pick a favourite from Paul and Brigit, the two main protagonists, Bunny, the maverick police detective sergeant, Nora Stokes, Paul’s heavily pregnant solicitor and Dorothy, Paul’s dotty elderly friend. In many ways it’s like reading a Tom Sharpe novel, without the bawdiness, and for a modern audience. Which is why A Man With One of Those Faces is just crying out to be televised or even made into a film.
This is a book that just gets better and better the deeper you dive into the story. It is most certainly a book to be kept and read on blue days when nothing is going right and you need the equivalent of a stiff drink or a box of chocolate for comfort. Time to chain Mr McDonnell to his laptop until he’s written the next one, because I suspect whatever he produces will not lie on my bookshelf long enough to get dusty.
A Man With One of Those Faces was courtesy of McFori Ink.