It’s a Mystery: Dead Irish, by John Lescroart

Meet Diz Hardy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dead Irish is the introduction, published in 1989, to the now popular Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky series. Diz is down and out, holding things together by tending bar, drinking, and perfecting his darts game. Ex-cop, ex-lawyer, ex-husband, he was thrown for a loop by the accidental death of his infant son, and decided life wasn’t worth playing anymore. The bar owner, Mose, brings a request to Diz to look into the case of his brother-in-law Eddie. His death appears to be suicide, but the family simply cannot accept that. In a “why not” sort of mood, Diz agrees, but without current creds, is forced to work on the periphery, pestering former partner Sgt. Abe Glitsky to keep him apprised of what the cops are thinking. The waters are soon very murky, muddied by a major drug deal, two additional suspicious deaths, and a brutal attack on Eddie’s younger brother. It it only due to Dis’s dogged persistence that the truth is eventually uncovered.

An obvious freshman effort, Dead Irish lacks the tension necessary for successful mysteries, and is fairly easy to figure out. But it’s interesting to learn the back story, a couple of elements fall into place in Diz’s life, and the psychological interplay among the various characters is well done.

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