A Murder Mystery set in Ireland during World War Two.
War is raging in Europe. Ireland is struggling with the consequences – the blockade of vital resources, the rationing of food and fuel, the influx of refugees, the shortage of jobs are causing unrest.
Eamon Foley is in a crowded pub. The music is loud. The singing is louder. His brother-in-law Joe McCarthy is shot dead.
In the chaos Foley sees a big man rushing through the door. A face from his past?
Is this a message? Have they caught up with him at last?
Or is it as the local Gardaí suspect – Joe was killed by a jealous husband, given his reputation as a notorious womaniser?
They dismiss Foley’s concerns. With dreadful results.
The next day Foley’s sister Mary is found dead in the town park.
And his son is taken away by a nun in a car.
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Foley would have to pass right by him if he wanted to go out that way but he hoped Joe would be too drunk to notice. So he moved as quickly as the crowd would let him and he kept his head down.
‘Eamon!’ A hand grabbed his jacket.
Foley tried to pull away but the hand held its grip.
‘Eamon, have a drink…’
‘No thank you, Joe.’
‘Ah, go on. I’ll buy you…’
‘Joe, let go of me!’ Foley gave a violent shrug and Joe lost his grip.
‘Well, feck you so …’
The rest was lost in a tremendous cheer as Kath Flaherty reached the climax of her dance. The music screeched and the noise exploded around them.
Something hit Foley on the shoulder and spun him around. And Joe McCarthy flew past him and slammed his head into the face of a young woman who was coming in the door.
At the same time the light bulb above the fireplace popped and showered everyone with a spray of broken glass. The music stopped dead. But only for a moment. Kath Flaherty looked up at the broken bulb swinging on a piece of flex. ‘Now that’s what I call hitting a high note.’
She gave an exaggerated bow and was engulfed by another wave of roaring and cheering and prolonged wolf-whistles. Mike Hurley bowed too and wiped his face with a grubby handkerchief.
Joe McCarthy lay still on the floor.
Foley dropped to his knees beside him. Paddy Quinn knelt down too and started loosening Joe’s tie, and he pressed his hand against Joe’s forehead. Blood was flowing from above his hairline and pouring down into his eyes.
The cheering was fading and the crowd was turning towards the bar. Someone shuffled the young girl onto a chair and the handkerchief they were holding to her nose was saturated with blood.
‘What the hell happened, Eamon?’
‘I don’t know, Paddy. I think he was trying to throw a punch at me or something. Anyway, he missed. He must have lost his balance and banged into that young girl.’
‘She’s one of the Sullivans.’ Paddy glanced over at them. ‘I saw them collide. There was a hell of a wallop. I think her nose is broken.’
‘Joe!’ Foley patted his face. ‘Wake up, you big eejit. C’mon, I’ll take you home before someone tears you to pieces.’
Joe didn’t move.
John Joe Delaney was out from behind the bar and was fussing around the young girl. ‘Who has a car? We have to take her to the hospital. We need someone with a car to take her to the hospital.’
‘Joe McCarthy.’ Delaney’s wife Patsy stooped down beside Joe and shouted in his ear. ‘I warned you about this. I’m telling you now, I don’t want you coming in here again until you learn how to behave yourself.’
She put her hand behind his head and tried to lift him up. Then she turned to Foley with a stunned look on her face. When she took her hand away it was covered in blood.
‘Oh my God. I think he’s dead.’
About the Author:
I was born in Tralee, Ireland and now live in Newport, South Wales, United Kingdom. As a child I spent his summer holidays in Listowel, Co Kerry where my uncle Moss Scanlon had a Harness Maker’s shop. It was a magnet for all sorts of colourful characters, and it was there that my love of storytelling was kindled by the likes of John B. Keane and Bryan MacMahon, who often wandered in for a chat and bit of jovial banter. The numerous short stories I’ve written based on those characters have been published in various anthologies and eMags over the years. I have self-published twenty of them in a collection called Dreamin’ Dreams and also as stand-alone stories with Amazon.com. My first novel, a thriller set in Wales during WW2, is called
Dark September and is published by Tirgearr Publishing.
Gallows Field is my second thriller and is also set in WW2, only this time in Ireland.
A Pale Moon Was Rising is a follow up thriller involving Eamon Foley again.