With Our Blessing: An Inspector Tom Reynolds Mystery, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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The top 10 Irish best seller.
Short-listed for the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition.
Discover more DI Tom Reynolds with the next book in the series, Beneath the Surface.
It's true what they say...revenge is sweet.
It's 1975. A baby, minutes old, is forcibly taken from its devastated mother. In 2010, the body of an elderly woman is found in a Dublin public park in the depths of winter.
Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds is working the case. He's convinced the murder is linked to historical events that took place in the notorious Magdalene Laundries. Reynolds and his team follow the trail to an isolated convent in the Irish countryside. But once inside, it becomes disturbingly clear that the killer is amongst them...and is determined to exact further vengeance for the sins of the past.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 50 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||18 May 2017|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 6,474 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
52 in Political Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
188 in Police Procedural Mysteries
297 in Political Thrillers (Books)
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Top reviews from Australia
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Facinating and you will not regret the read. I found this book easy to read, really good length, start and touching finish.
Top reviews from other countries
A body is found in Phoenix Park in Dublin. The scene has clearly been staged by the killer and police interest is soon centred on a convent. But it's no ordinary convent; it was formerly one of the Magdalen laundries. These establishments took in young women who were pregnant and unmarried, sparing the family shame and supposedly teaching the girls the correct moral path. Babies were forcibly removed from the mother immediately after birth and to call the regime brutal would be an understatement. The scandal of the way in which the Catholic Church, police and other establishment organisations covered up systemic abuse that went on for decades is relatively recent. In fact the last laundry only closed in the 1990's, so it's still very raw.
Jo Spain has a real feel for people and dialogue. Each of the police team has an interesting personality and there are various back stories. The characters feel well rounded and plausible. The nuns are a mixed bunch and I found a strong sense of claustrophobia and threat building as the investigation got underway. There was an almost palpable sense of cold in the long corridors and disused dormitory and the scenes are really well set.
Within the investigating team, there's a link to the convent and this element proved particularly interesting and unexpected. The plotting throughout is intricate and careful. Various pointers are given, but they don't always lead where expected, so it's twisted and kept me guessing. I can't believe it's taken me a couple of years to find this author, who's already a best seller. Her success is well deserved and I'll be following her further work with interest.
520 pages and 58 chapters. This is a brick of a book but is a fairly large font and a good pace is usually promised by a good crime novel.
The plot sucks in the reader straight away with an elderly woman having been crucified in a Dublin park. Tom and his team get on the case and the story starts to flow.
There is never any doubt about the geographic setting of the book as the Irish flavour is everywhere, particularly when the story starts to dig into the secrets of the catholic church that had previously been buried in the past.
Reading the dialogue gives the reader no doubt about the authenticity of the characters. The Irish accent never takes away from the pace of the speech but words are sufficiently different to add an accent - sometimes it is worth reading a sentence slowly in you head and they will most definitely have an Irish twang.
I warmed very quickly to Tom and his team as they all seemed to be genuine people with normal problems in normal lives outside the police force.
Progress in the investigation is made and the storyline is very plausible with all the characters behaving as I would expect them to.
The timing in December and the snow storm adds drama, intensifying the story. It is a great skill to be able to use the techniques of a traditional Agatha Christie murder mystery but bring it up to date with modern police procedures and modern investigation technology. Many authors try to achieve this by creating enclosed scenarios which often feel fake but this author does this brilliantly and the setup is very natural.
My big disappointment was the ending which was rushed and unnecessarily dramatic when the killer was finally revealed. I was have been much happier if the last 40 pages had shown a much more subtle touch.
Gruesome times for those in what was similar to the Magdaline laundries and some heartache you could feel through the darker times of which should be happy ones. Sadly the births of these babies bring sadness and emotions that are not dealt with the best way.
Steeped in Irish history and reading it you will see how the old Catholic Church methods back then were not the best at all. I did think I knew who the killer was and why, really did eighty percent then found out how wrong I was.
A book that deals with the harder part of births and a killer. Just loved how it all sort of intermingled with the rest of the read and felt this was such a good read as previous books by Jo Spain.
My complaints would be that, at times, the writing seems a little naïve and slightly childish. But, as the book wore on, I forgave this because I liked the sub plots (all surrounding pregnancies) that looked at the societal changes towards single mothers (from an Irish perspective).
I thought I knew who the killer was at about 86% - but I was wrong. And, for a debut, the author was very clever at laying traps that made you think it was one or another person - only for it to turn out to be someone else.
The sadistic nature of the "Laundries" was pretty much tempered. So this is more a crime novel that happens to be based around religious institutions, rather than a book just about Ireland's revelations around how these poor girls were treated.
Would recommend it. If you do buy it and find the start puts you off a little - keep going. I eventually found I couldn't put it down.