Oh Danny Boy (Molly Murphy Mysteries 5)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oh Danny Boy (A Molly Murphy Mystery)

Since Molly’s return to the city, she has concentrated on avoiding Daniel Sullivan and moving on with her life.  She is successful until one of his constables shows up at her door and forces her to see him.  Naturally, she is livid until she finds out that he has actually been in jail for a bogus, yet serious crime.  Upon seeing his pitiful state, she agrees to find the person responsible in order to prove his innocence.  She focuses on Daniel’s active cases to find clues.  Had someone wanted him off an investigation?  As she proceeds,  Molly gets entangled in the search for a dangerous serial killer, The Ripper, who has already claimed several female victims.

:Short Thought:
This is a great addition to the series!  Molly faces some of her toughest challenges, both personally and professionally, as she fights a system that is against her.  Our wonderful heroine is still a enjoy to follow.  As for the supporting characters, there are wonderful returning characters woven throughout the story as well as a couple of new delights.  As for the mystery, it keeps twisting, turning, and building until the very end.  Loved it!

:Expanded Thoughts:
[No Spoilers]
In Oh Danny Boy, Molly is put through a mountain of tests.  Her investigative skills are pushed to the limit as well as her heart.   Molly is stretched so thin that she even allows Sid and Gus to do some of her detective work.  (It was to the sheer delight of the pair and the mild horror of Molly.)  Every break in her investigation brings about more questions and more possible connections.  A reader can't help but notice desperation slowly creeping into Ms. Murphy as her mind is ever haunted by the image of Daniel suffering in a cage.

Each of the previous novels treats the reader to a slice of the setting's culture.  As Molly's investigation progresses, she is constantly being led to Coney Island.  We are also given a glimpse into how the criminal system may have been from both sides.  We are “taken” into the Medical Examiner’s office, the prison, and the Public Defender's office.  We're also given a closer look into the system's devastating effect on an accused through Daniel and the ruin of his social support and career. 

On a brighter note, a big highlight of the novel was the introduction of a new character—Police Matron Sabella Goodwin.  Sabella Goodwin is actually based on a real woman.  (There is an author note at the end of the book that tells more about her.)  In the book, she acts as a role model and confidante.  Molly trusts her completely and tells her things that she wouldn't dream of revealing to anyone else.  She is also the first person since Paddy Riley from whom Molly can learn.  She finally has a female friend with whom she can relate on a professional level as well as a personal level.

Oh Danny Boy was a real treat!  I was a bit concerned before I started reading, because In Like Flynn was so great.  I thought that this one would pale in comparison.  I was wrong.  It had Molly back with the same magnetic and witty personality that makes everyone want to keep reading.

:Additional Notes:

Series Info:  Oh Danny Boy is the fifth book in Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy Mysteries series. As of this post, the books available in this series, in order starting from the beginning, are:

Author's Sites:  Want to know more about the author?  Here is a list of Rhys Bowen's sites:

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