In the dark waters beneath the streets of Victorian Dublin, a gruesome discovery awaits Detective Inspector Joe Swallow – diamonds and death in the River Poddle.
Swallow and the legendary Chief Superintendent John Mallon must also work tirelessly to counter espionage and subterfuge by the British secret services, who are hell-bent on destroying Charles Stewart Parnell and the Irish struggle for Home Rule. If Parnell falls, the G-men of Dublin’s Metropolitan Police fear the chaos that will rise in his wake.
As Swallow struggles to hold his marriage together, he must choose between the life he wants and the career he has built. The pressure mounts on Swallow from all sides: a death under Dublin, an Irish journalist murdered in Madrid, the pursuit of a suspect across the breadth of Ireland and all the while, the sinister machinations of the British Empire against the ‘uncrowned king’.
Conor Brady returns with a masterfully thrilling tale of intrigue, treachery and suspense.
Praise for the Joe Swallow Series
‘A vivid and crafty whodunit … Fans of mysteries that capture the flavour of the past will hope that Swallow has a long literary life.’ – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
‘Brady’s powerful first mystery novel is evocative of the period. The many aspects of life in 19th-century Dublin are cleverly woven through a baffling mystery.’ – Kirkus Reviews
‘Swallow is an increasingly interesting protagonist who is left to face the realities of his professional future and his closest personal relationship; readers will want to see more of him.’ – Booklist
‘Making his mystery debut, former Irish Times editor Brady presents a fascinating and in-depth historical peek at crime solving in a bygone era when it took more than a few keystrokes and a phone call to catch a perp. Swallow is a complicated, earnest hero with just enough flaws to make him endearingly sympathetic.’ – Library Journal
‘Conor Brady’s debut novel is a slice of history about Dublin, Ireland, and the Dublin Metropolitan police, intertwined with a first-rate murder mystery, and peopled by characters both complex and realistic.’ – NY Journal of Books
‘Brady weaves a police procedural that does full justice to the complex nature of the social, political and criminal labyrinth that was Dublin in the summer of 1887. He paints a vivid picture of the city … Swallow himself is very much in the mould of the classic fictional policeman, a man ostensibly dedicated to upholding law and order and seeking out justice …’ – The Irish Times
‘As in the best crime fiction, the city itself is here a kind of character – and it’s a Dublin we haven’t seen a great deal of in recent fiction … An absorbing read, cleanly written, beautifully structured and thrillingly vivid … Brady has done an excellent job of conjuring the febrile atmosphere of the city as it lurches and stumbles its way towards the War of Independence.’ – Sunday Business Post
‘Delivers a thrilling sense of the familiar, lit with the profane … the pace raises the novel above the period pastiche.’ – Sunday Independent
‘Brady handles the political atmosphere of the time with aplomb. A June Of Ordinary Murders pulsates with a vivid sense of a country on edge as the land wars rage and preparations get under way for a royal visit.’ – Irish Independent
‘In Brady’s stellar second whodunit set in Victorian Dublin … the astute Swallow is a particularly well-rounded lead, and he’s matched with a complex, but logical, page-turner of a plot.’ – Publishers Weekly
‘The second case for the talented, complicated Swallow again spins a fine mystery out of political corruption in 1880s Dublin.’ – Kirkus Reviews
‘He has given us a compelling and memorable central character in the shape of Detective Swallow … If the RTÉ drama department are looking for something to fill a Love/Hate-sized hole in next year’s schedule, they could do worse than look at the continuing development, and adventures, of Detective Joe Swallow.’ – Irish Independent
‘Interesting and daring.’ – Irish Examiner
‘A cracker of a book and very enjoyable.’ – Hotpress
‘A rattling tale which draws in real-life historical events, a multi-strand thriller plot, the complex web of personal relationships … an entertaining read … many mystery fans love to follow the hero on his journey through life, book after book. In Joe Swallow, they have an interesting and agreeable travel companion.’ – Irish Independent
‘The window Brady provides into the everyday lives of ordinary Irishmen caught in a dramatic moment gives his third entry a combination of the best elements of police procedurals and historical mysteries.’ – Kirkus Reviews
‘Brady’s strong third whodunit set in Victorian Ireland … seamlessly integrates the political tensions of the day into the plot … the series’ historical backdrop should continue to prove a rich source for future entries.’ – Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Conor Brady is the former Editor of The Irish Times, and the former Garda Ombudsman. He has held various professorships and teaching fellowships at the City University of New York and University College Dublin. In the Dark River is his most recent novel in the Joe Swallow series. He lives and works in Dublin.
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