Caimh McDonnell's 'Dublin Trilogy' has a good many fans. I agree with the ones who advise reading the novels in order. This is a series where the vibrantly drawn characters matter and we do need to get to know them as their relationships unfold. I have read the first two novels: so far, the hapless characters we need to keep an eye on are Paul Mulchrone (well-meaning mensch); Bunny McGarry (Paul's former hurling coach; a more than tough police detective that would make Columbo look like a snappy dresser); Bridget Conroy (nurse with an anger-management problem) and Phil Lewis (Paul's best friend, even more hopeless than Paul.) This story adds Maggie, a police dog who needed rescuing after her period of service ended. Then there is the mysterious blonde with the clingy red dress. The plots expand quickly to include an activist priest, assorted 'bent' real estate developers and planning officials and an army of aggrieved investors in a massively embezzled from housing project. Then the terror begins.
For most of the story, Bunny is (where else?) lost, presumably on a monumental binge. Paul and Bridget, now partners in a new private detection agency, are looking for him with notable lack of skill. Plus, due to the 'mother of all misunderstandings' they are not talking to each other. The perpetually penniless Paul needs a car for this investigation and Phil can borrow one. Even with these handicaps they are outperforming the local constabulary, who are hamstrung by ego issues at the top of the hierarchy and by an anti-terrorist squad that needs to find terrorists in order to get a workout. Excitable citizens will do in a pinch. The able police are represented by Detective Constable Wilson, who played a creditable role in the first novel and by newly promoted Detective Superintendent Susan Burns. Just from the lineup of characters, one sees endless possibilities for biting humor and physical comedy.