How Its New York: Peter Quinn’s The Man Who Never Returned oozes New York. It’s a central character. And Peter is President of the Irish American Writers & Artists, whom we love and adore.
How Its Irish: Irish-American Quinn produces an Irish-American shamus, Fintan Dunne.
In which reviewer Michelle Woods discovers the joys of reading an Irish cop in a book that avoids cliches:
What haunts Quinn in The Man Who Never Returned is the idea that someone can vanish just like that. And at least Justice Crater is remembered for vanishing, unlike the rest of us who might vanish from the world and be forgotten.
Thinking about the human fabric of New York city – a character dismisses it as “yesterday’s city”, Dunne thinks:
“It was those who never left, citizens of the perpetual cycle of demolition and construction – houses, buildings, theaters erected, altered, demolished; neighborhoods rising, falling and being redeveloped, famous and infamous celebrated, cheered and consigned to oblivion the ones stuck in the yesterday city – who had to adjust to being unmissed missing persons, has-beens living in a town of ghosts.”
The Irish-American take on it steers clear of the drunk Irish cop cliché and pries open the combustive mix of Irish control in the force and in local politics with the latent racism against the Irish.