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The Joe Swallow Books - #1

A June Of Ordinary Murders captures the life and essence of Dublin in the 1880s and draws the reader on a thrilling journey of murder and intrigue.

In the 1880s the DMP clazzified crime in two distinct clazzes. Political crimes were ‘special’, whereas theft, robbery and even murder, no matter how terrible, were ‘ordinary’.

Dublin, June 1887: the mutilated bodies of a man and a child are discovered in Phoenix Park and Detective Sergeant Joe Swallow steps up to investigate. Cynical and tired, Swallow is a man living on past successes in need of a win.

In the background, the city is sweltering in a long summer heatwave; a potential gangland war is simmering as the chief lieutenants of a dying crime boss size each other up and the castle administration want the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden jubilee to pass off without complication. Underneath it all, the growing threat of anti-British radicals is never far away. With the Land War at its height, the priority is to contain ‘special’ crime. But these murders appear to be ‘ordinary’ and thus of lesser priority.

When the evidence suggests high-level involvement, and as the body count increases, Swallow must navigate the waters of foolish superiors, political directives and frayed tempers to investigate the crime, find the true murderer, and deliver justice.

Praise for A June of Ordinary Murders

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 as it bakes beneath the unrelenting sun, employing Joe Swallow’s sharp eye and the character’s ambitions as an amateur painter to deftly sketch both its landmarks and its less salubrious corners… 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, even if, as he points out, ‘the statue of blind Justice’ at Dublin Castle ‘topped the archway with her back to the city.’ – 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

About The Author
Conor Brady is the former editor of The Irish Times and most recently worked as one of the three Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commissioners. A June Of Ordinary Murders is his first work of fiction. The second book in the Joe Swallow series, The Elqoeunce of the Dead was published in October 2013. He lives in Dublin. 


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