Out now: The Coroner's Daughter

 

Dublin, 1816 – the year without a summer. A rare climatic event has brought frost to mid-July, and a lingering fog casts a pall over a city torn between evangelical and rationalist dogma, stirred by zealotry and civil unrest.

 

Amid the disquiet, a young nursemaid in a pious household conceals a pregnancy and then murders her newborn. Rumours swirl about the identity of the child’s father, but before an inquest can be held, the maid is found dead. When Abigail Lawless, the eighteen-year-old daughter of the coroner, by chance discovers a message from the maid’s seducer, she is drawn ever deeper into a world of hidden meanings and deceit.

 

An only child, Abigail has been raised amid the books and instruments of her father’s grim profession. Now she leads us through dissection rooms and dead houses, gothic churches and elegant ballrooms, while in the shadows, a sinister figure whom she believes has killed twice already, is waiting to kill again...

 

Determined, resourceful and intuitive, and more than just a dutiful daughter or society débutante, Abigail Lawless emerges as a young lady sleuth operating at the dawn of forensic science.

The Convictions of John Delahunt

 

Dublin, 1841. On a cold December morning, a small boy is enticed away from his mother and his throat savagely cut. This could be just one more small, sad death in a city riven by poverty, inequality and political unrest, but this murder causes an outcry. For it appears the culprit - a feckless student named John Delahunt - is also an informant in the pay of the authorities at Dublin Castle. Strangely, this young man seems neither to regret what he did, nor fear his punishment. Indeed, as he awaits the hangman in his cell in Kilmainham Gaol, John Delahunt decides to tell his story in this, his final, deeply unsettling statement...

 

Based on true events that convulsed Victorian Ireland, The Convictions of John Delahunt is the tragic tale of a man who betrays his family, his friends, his society and, ultimately, himself.

 

The US edition is published by Pegasus Books.

Lives Less Ordinary

 

Fitzwilliam Square provides the setting and a true-life cast of characters for a fascinating portrait of Georgian Dublin. Using personal correspondence and memoirs, as well as contemporary accounts in chronicles and journals, this unique history is told through the perspectives of those who lived on the square.


With courtroom drama and drawing-room intrigue, accounts from the battlefield, tales of duelling, ghost stories and political and personal scandals, the stories are varied and wide-ranging, but anchored by the fact that they only involve those residents of the sixty-nine houses of Fitzwilliam Square.