Each of Patrick McGinley’s novels explores the fortunes of modern Irish characters as they struggle with the burden of Ireland’s historical past and its always uncertain future. In most of the novels, rural Donegal provides the setting for an investigation not only of crime but also, and more important, of local language, customs, and folklore. McGinley’s intimate knowledge and appreciation of the Irish landscape and how it has profoundly influenced the lives of its inhabitants stand as his greatest strengths. His darkly comic vision and ironic manipulations of the conventions of the classic detective story lend a distinctive quality to his fictions. McGinley’s characters are much more than stock figures, and they speak in a ribald, original language that is captivating and unmistakably Irish.