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Disappeared (The Inspector Celcius Daly Mysteries) Paperback – July 24, 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Irish journalist Quinn’s fiction debut kicks off a series featuring Northern Ireland police inspector Celcius Daly. This first installment manages to both entertain and enlighten, taking decades of sectarian violence that preceded present-day calm and using this as the background for a suspenseful whodunit.” —Publishers Weekly

“Quinn has developed a plot that immerses the reader into a darkness we have only read about in the papers or seen on the late night news.” —The State-Journal Register 

Disappeared is a major piece of work. Eerily tender, a wonderfully wrought classic that is a landmark in the fiction of Northern Ireland. . . . Line up the glittering prizes of mystery. This one is going to take ’em all.” —Ken Bruen, award-winning author of Rilke on Black

Book Description

Veteran journalist Anthony Quinn’s debut novel examines the lingering effects of the Troubles on Ireland. A strong first effort that will thrill fans of Irish noir and crime novels, Disappeared is a captivating modern mystery with one foot in a violent past.

Product Details

  • Series: The Inspector Celcius Daly Mysteries
  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road (July 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453260978
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453260975
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,497,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By TChris TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Disappeared takes place in Northern Ireland in the aftermath of the Troubles. For all the political intrigue that gives the novel its foundation, Disappeared focuses on a handful of characters engaged in a quest for the truth. On a slightly larger scale, it is the story of citizens in a divided country striving to recover from events that tore apart their lives, their families, and their nation.

Oliver Jordan, an IRA member suspected of being a police informant, disappeared in 1989, the presumed victim of a kidnapping and murder. Seventeen years later, Joseph Devine, a retired legal clerk and former police informant, is murdered. Father Aiden Fee follows directions to the body and prays for Devine's soul, as he does for all the informers in his parish who end up dead. Inspector Celcius Daly, pondering the motive for Devine's murder, finds himself wondering if the death is connected to the recent disappearance of retired Special Branch undercover agent David Hughes, an elderly man who suffers from dementia. He finds another connection in the person of Malachy O'Hare, a firebrand solicitor who has made a career of representing IRA members.

The story begins to take shape when the reader learns the unusual circumstances under which Devine's obituary was published. The questions that Daly pursues are those that puzzle the reader. Was Jordan killed because he was an informer or was he, as his widow insists, loyal to the IRA? What does Jordan's son, Dermot, know about his father's past? Why did Special Branch cover-up the details of Jordan's disappearance? What is the significance of Devine's collection of antique duck decoys, to which the story makes frequent reference? Are the ghosts that visit Hughes real or imagined?
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When the blurb says "In Northern Ireland's darkest corner" it means it. It's winter, it's wet, dark, cold and black. A landscape full of old houses, swamps and fast running streams, there's an overwhelming sense of dark, deep, close-held, life-long, simmering secrets in the world that Inspector Celcius Daly now lives.

A Catholic Irishman, he's returned to his father's house after a stint in Scotland. His father's recent death, his own marriage breakdown - it's exactly what you'd expect of somebody living in this place, although Daly's a bit of a dark horse himself. He's also stubborn and a decent man who does not easily let go of a case when he believes something is wrong.

There is something very apt about the setting for DISAPPEARED. For a non-Irish reader it feels so right that this dark and slightly obsessive cop would be exiled to this place, full of people with the same personality traits. There's also something very apt about the intertwining of generations of families with the IRA, Special Branch, and a whole heap of secrets.

Everything about the setting, the scenario and the characters felt spot on when reading DISAPPEARED. Even the character of David Hughes, in the early stages of dementia, still with enough awareness of his own situation to know what's happening, know what he knows and more importantly, be able to identify the things he should know but can no longer recall. The dogged way that Daly pursues his investigation, despite the blatant interference of Special Branch matches the dogged manner in which Hughes sets out to right some wrongs, and the way that Oliver Jordan's young son pursues his own aims.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Retired Special Branch agent David Hughes, suffereing from Alzheimer, disappears from his home, where his sister is looking after him. Because the old spy is almost helpless, the police assumes Hughes was kidnapped or even worse. Soon a retired legal clerk is found murdered and tortured under the tree. The victim, Joseph Devin, had a murky past, and his death is somehow connected to the disappearance of Hughes.

The main protagonist of the story, transferred from Belfast to small town in Northern Ireland, Inspector Celcius Daly doesn’t know that. In fact, he even doesn’t realize that both men worked with Special Branch, where Hughes was a detective, and devin was an informer. Daly is assigned to investigate both crimes, he hits many dead ends (no surprise because Special Branch doesn’t want Daly to mess in their business), until he makes a connection, linking Devlin and Hughes to another disappeared man from 1989, Olilver Jordan, who, it’s been said, was an informer for Special Branch while being in IRA.

I expected from Disappeared something more, and after finishing it it became evident to me that behind us is a mediocre thriller, poorly written, poorly structured and not involving at all.
Sentence by sentence, Quinn writes not that bad, for he was a journalist, and he mastered a bit of a craft. Once sentences start to form paragraphs and chapters, the prose become one crumbly bulk barely moving forward. The novel suffers from the need to follow all the rules of modern british crime thriller, and these rules, it seems, are handed out to writers by editors. Here we have a lone sleuth, who returned home, secrets of the past, chapters written from POV of many side characters only making already muddy picture more blurred.
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