JOHN BLAINE is a private investigator who hails from Dublin, Ireland who has appeared in a series of short, fast-paced mysteries that have him dealing with Romanian gangs, missing sons, wandering daughters, Irish heatwaves and the like.
In Death by Design, Blaine is hired to find the missing son of a wealthy department-store heiress, who hasn't been seen for years. Her even enlists the aid of his ex-wife Annie, a social worker.
Along the way, Blaine offers up a litany of Chandlersque asides (one man is described as "a little like a two minute egg . . . all soft and jiggly") and quick-witted banter with his ex. More puritanical Americian readers may be taken aback by the frank tone and occasional vulgarity, but this ain't Murder She Wrote.
Dublin-based Vincent Banville is an Irish journalist and novelist, born in Wexford in 1940. His novels include An End to Flight, originally published under the pen name Vincent Lawrence. He has also published four books in the Hennessy series for children. His brother is Booker Award-winning John Banville, who writes mysteries as Benjamin Black.
Report submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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