This crime novel takes place in 1980's Ireland - still a patriarchal society, permeated with religious hypocrisy and casual misogyny. But this is not just the usual run-of-the-mill detective plot. Running beneath is a far more compelling study of grizzly family secrets and lies, culminating in an all too believable and heart breaking ending. You will need a strong stomach for some of the scenes.
Kavanagh, the chief superintendent, had phoned him at home that morning , just after seven, to say he wanted a quick finish to this case, that it had too many 'knobs on'. Crudely put as always, but he understood what Kavanagh meant - this one had knobs, bells and miraculous medals all over it.
A dead baby in a convent - that was slaughter and religion for starters with a background of sexual activity. The fact that that it was one of the most affluent schools in the city brought in money and class. Coming hot on the heels of the 'pro-life' referendum where the country had screamed itself into a bitter divide over whether it loved its foetuses more than their mothers, this delicate atrocity was sure to keep the fires aglow. No wonder Kavanagh was jumping around like a bluebottle on a window.