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The Priest
Gerard O?Donovan
Scribners 2011

The Priest by Gerard O'Donovan is a plodding mystery novel set in Dublin. You would expect a thriller about a very violent serial rapist dubbed The Priest to have some energy and interest but no. This mystery gets lost in a series of pointless character conflicts, an unnecessarily mysterious main character, an artificial and temporary love interest, and plot developments even a rookie TV scriptwriter would think forced.

D.I Mike Mulcahy is back home in Dublin after a stint in Spain and drug enforcement. The reason for his return to Ireland is mysterious only until it is revealed he was dumped by his Spanish wife. He hooks up with almost star reporter Siobhan Fallon who just bagged a big headline thanks to a rich businessman who has the hots for her. Kindle at Amazon

A young foreign student is violently attacked. Mulcahy is asked to the victim s hospital room so he can act as Spanish English interpreter. The Spanish liaison wants him on the case, the sex crimes Sergeant takes an immediate dislike for him, and Brogan, the lead Detective Inspector sends him on silly errands even as he feeds her what the reader knows are the good leads.

The biggest problem with The Priest is O'Donovan is playing with a stacked deck. Everything except the crimes is a red herring until three quarters in. The reader tires of this, especially after Brogan arrests the wrong man twice and cannot be convinced either times she is wrong.

The last few chapters of this mystery novel set in Dublin are pretty decent but getting there is as interesting as an old church lady s confession.