Cover image for Death in Dublin : a novel of suspense
Death in Dublin : a novel of suspense
Gill, Bartholomew, 1943-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2003]

Physical Description:
x, 294 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



An Irish cultural treasure has been stolen from the Trinity College library: the Book of Kells, an ancient, exquisitely illustrated ninth-century amalgam of Christian doctrine and Celtic legend. Normally, theft would not fall under the jurisdiction of Peter McGarr of the Murder Squad, even one of this magnitude. But the heinous crime comes with an extra indignity: the brutal slaying of a night watchman, believed to have been a party to the felony. The fact that blood has been so freely spilled is most disturbing to McGarr, suggesting that the perpetrators' motive was not merely financial gain. Backbiting politics only further tangles the web of thievery and murder that McGarr must unravel quickly and completely. Mounting evidence suggests that the repercussions of this case may be more devastating than first imagined, pointing the intrepid detective toward a secret organization intent on nothing less than the destruction of contemporary Irish society. They call themselves the New Druids, dangerous zealots dedicated to returning Ireland to its ancient pagan state.Their deadly reach is wide, infiltrating the hallowed halls of Trinity College and quite possibly the Garda itself, forcing McGarr to doubt the loyalties of even his closest compatriots. With the dubious help of an unlikely partner -- the millionaire publisher of a disreputable scandal sheet -- McGarr undertakes the most perilous assignment of his career, plunging into a deadly maelstrom of secrets, deceptions, dark rituals...and the ever-escalating violence that even his most determined efforts cannot prevent. The crowning achievement of a magnificent career, Death in Dublin is a wonderful parting gift from the incomparable Bartholomew Gill -- one last exhilarating visit to the Emerald Isle in the company of the unforgettable folk the author and his devoted readers have loved so well.

Author Notes

Mark McGarrity, who wrote mystery novels under the pseudonym Bartholomew Gill, was born in Massachusetts in 1943. He graduated from both Brown University and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He wrote seventeen murder mysteries and was an Edgar Award nominee. As a journalist, he wrote for the Newark Star Ledger. He lived in Dublin and Cranberry Lake, NJ. He died in 2002.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This is the sixteenth, and last, police procedural starring Peter McGarr, chief superintendent of the Serious Crimes Unit of the Garda Siochana, the Irish Police. McGarr's creator, Mark McGarrity, who chose the pen name Gill (leaving part of his surname in the name of his protagonist), died this past summer. In some series, the main character remains static, a mere calculating machine in the solution of mysteries. The Edgar-nominated McGarr series was special in many ways, but primarily in how McGarr grew and changed as a character and in the way Gill contrasted McGarr's personal life with his professional one. In the last of the series, a widowed and shattered McGarr finds surcease from his grief in his work and is faced with a case that demands all his cunning. Ireland's most valuable cultural icon, the Book of Kells, has been stolen from the Old Library of Trinity College. A terrorist group, the New Druids, holds the book for ransom, threatening to burn a page a day until their demand for 50 million Euro dollars is met. This is a spectacularly suspenseful book, skillfully leading the reader through the political crisis the kidnap of Kells ignites. It is also a wonderful exploration of Irish culture and, especially, the history and artistry of the Book of Kells itself. Gill's last case is a masterpiece. --Connie Fletcher

Publisher's Weekly Review

The eighth and sadly the last in Gill's Peter McGarr series (the author died last summer) is a complicated and gloomy foray into Ireland's relentlessly tragic political and social landscape. Unidentified criminals, striking at the heart of Irish culture and tradition, kill a security guard and abscond from Trinity College with the revered Book of Kells, for which they demand a huge ransom. McGarr, "chief superintendent of the Serious Crimes Unit of the Garda Siochana," takes on the case. Corrupt higher-ups in the Garda dismiss McGarr when he treads on sensitive ground, but guilty feelings stemming from the unsolved murders of his wife and father-in-law drive him onward. At times hard to follow, this deeply depressing story builds to a gripping, carnage-filled climax. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Gill's final novel pits Police Chief Peter McGarr against a thief and murderer: a night watchman at Dublin's Trinity College has been killed and the irreplaceable Book of Kells stolen. McGarr suspects an infamous and most dangerous band of IRA zealots. Excellent work from a tried-and-true hand. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Death in Dublin Chapter One Peter McGarr stepped out of the laneway into Dame Street, at the end of which stood the granite eminence of Trinity College about a quarter mile distant. It was early morning -- half 8:00 -- and the street was thronged with automobile commuters creeping to work. Cars rolled on a few paces, stopped, and their drivers looked away blankly, used to delay. Faces of passengers in double-deck buses, through windows streaked with urban grime, were careworn and bored. A solitary articulated lorry appeared lost amid the clamor, its wide headlamps searching for a street that might lead to a highway and freedom. Like Trinity itself, where McGarr was headed, the early traffic on Dame Street was a given of his day, something he seldom noticed. But since the murder of his wife, Noreen, more than two years earlier, McGarr had gone from being an acute observer of the city to being necessarily blind to its changes and nuances. Save those, of course, that concerned his family, who had been reduced to his daughter, Maddie, and his mother-in-law, Nuala. She now cared for the child while he worked. Trinity, which he was now approaching, was a case in point, he realized. Back when he'd been a student, the bastion of Protestantism and privilege had been declared off limits to Catholics by the bishop of Dublin. Of course, as the seventh of nine children of a Guinness brewery worker, it was no place he could have had hopes of attending, anyhow. And yet in his own way, McGarr had coveted Trinity's complex of mainly Georgian and Victorian buildings that walled off traffic and noise and provided a quiet haven of wide lawns, cobbled footpaths, and civility in the heart of the city. It was a gem of a place, a kind of urban diadem. But for the nearly twenty years of his marriage, he had associated the college with Noreen, who had studied there. The arched entranceway was crowded with returning students, and across a wide courtyard, he could see uniformed police cordoning off the Old Library. In front of the barrier stood press and television crews -- details that he'd sooner forget, if he could. But Peter McGarr was chief superintendent of the Serious Crimes Unit of the Garda Siochana, the Irish police, and since the tragedy, his work had become the sole sustaining element in his life, the one constant activity that helped him forget. Also, there was the chance -- however slight -- that he might discover who exactly had murdered his people. And why. At the corner of the Old Library, McGarr paused for a few tugs on a cigarette before running the gauntlet in front of the police line, even though he'd promised his daughter he'd quit. More guilt. How could he have failed to recognize the danger that his occupation posed to his family? How could he have allowed the tragedy to occur? Feeling as he did most waking hours -- that his life was effectively over in his fifty-fifth year -- McGarr dropped the butt into a storm drain and stepped toward the reporters. A somewhat short man with gray eyes and an aquiline nose bent slightly to one side, he still presented a rather formidable appearance with wide, well-muscled shoulders and little paunch. Courtesy of Nuala, who had taken charge of his appearance, he was well turned out in a heather-colored tweed overcoat, razor creases in his tan trousers and cordovan half-cut boots polished to a high gloss. "You've got to get a grip on yourself and get on with life, Peter," she had told him going out the door. "If only for Maddie. And forget the bastards what done it. They're a sly and craven lot, not at all like your common run of criminal, and more than a few, I'm thinking. And if they thought you were onto them ... " Unless, of course, they didn't know he was before he struck. The niceties of the law being dispensed with. Revenge was what McGarr sought, not justice. As he waded through the clutch of reporters, whose questions McGarr fended off with his eyes, all that hinted at his inner turmoil was a certain drawn look and his deep red hair that tufted out under the brim of his fedora. He'd been too distracted for barbers. While waiting for the door to the gift shop to be unlocked, McGarr glanced up at a sky freighted with clouds moving in from the east. Although it was only early October, the wind carried an edge. The fair weather would not hold much longer, he could tell. Bernie McKeon -- McGarr's chief of staff -- had already arrived, along with a pathologist and several members of the Tech Squad. A man and a woman, who McGarr supposed were library officials, were standing off from the others. McKeon handed McGarr the notes he'd taken since arriving. "You've heard of squab under glass. It's served at the finest restaurants, I'm told. And duck too. But blue-d uniform security cop is a new one on me," McKeon said in an undertone. McGarr glanced at his colleague, whose dark eyes were bright with the grisly irony that passed for humor in the Murder Squad. The victim was encased, literally, under thick glass or high-quality Plexiglas. Not only was his security uniform a deep, midnight blue, but his face was some lighter shade of the color, rather like cornflower blue, except for where it was covered in blood, which had also smeared the glass. "To control the deterioration of the manuscripts, the cases are hermetically sealed and the atmosphere's withdrawn. Or so says your man," McKeon continued. "He's the head librarian and she's the keeper of old manuscripts." "Trevor Pape?" asked McGarr, glancing over at the two. Pape was a well-known figure in academic and arts circles and had attended openings at the picture gallery that Noreen had owned. Death in Dublin . Copyright © by Bartholomew Gill. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Death in Dublin: A Novel of Suspense by Bartholomew Gill All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.