Authors Showcase: Redemption Song by Derick Parsons
December 16, 2014
The Book: Redemption Song
The Author: Derick Parsons
The Story: Who is murdering black men in Dublin, and why? Is it a racist, anti-immigrant group or are there other, hidden reasons for the killings?
These are some of the questions that washed-up detective Jack O’Neill must answer in order to stop the carnage and salvage his ruined career. As the pressure -and the body count- mounts Jack finds that he must solve the case to save not just his job but his life as he becomes the killer’s next target.
But Jack also has inner demons of his own to contend with, and a past that may yet destroy his last shot at redemption.
About Derick Parsons:
I was born in Dublin, Ireland, on the 27-03-1966, which makes me both old and an Aries; I do not believe in either but I seem to be stuck with the former at least.
I have travelled extensively and as well as living in various parts of Ireland I lived for years in London, Holland, Germany, Poland and the USA.
I returned to Dublin and married Eimear (a top litigation lawyer but a good person nonetheless, I swear) in 2001, which effectively ended the travelling, though we still like to roam the world on holidays.
We have three magnificent (if mental) boys whom I wouldn’t swap for eternal life and shares in Apple.
I don’t remember deciding to be a writer; ever since I can remember I have considered myself one, and after writing various poems and short stories I completed my first full-length novel at the ripe old age of 10. Alas, I no longer have that story, which I would dearly love to read again, if only for a good laugh.
HIDDEN is the first novel I have written for the public, with all my previous writing being intensely personal and for me alone. A second, REDEMPTION SONG, is now also for sale on Kindle.
Review by John J. Staughton:
I had a feeling that I would like this book, considering it is set in Dublin, I am Irish, and I love a good thriller. I didn’t know I would get quite as wrapped up in it as I did, primarily because from the very first pages,
Parsons grabs a reader by the throat and never lets go. Mixing murder and mystery always gets my blood pumping in a book, but there was something particularly good about this author’s approach to the genre. The hard-nosed O’Neill isn’t the standard idea of a protagonist or heroic character, and he is definitely flawed. However, he develops as the story goes on and becomes more human, and less of a stereotypical character as he appeared at first. I had a feeling that the killer would eventually turn his eye on O’Neill, and I suppose that common trend in these sorts of books can be expected to a certain degree.
That didn’t put me off the plot though, and I feel that Parsons really understands the genre, both the failings and the potential areas for improvement where other authors stumble. All in all, I will certainly read more by Parsons, particularly if they are of the same caliber. In fact,
I wouldn’t be surprised if Chief Inspector O’Neill became a regular character in his writing. He is a deep and intriguing character that has a lot to offer the reader. There is enough of ourselves (flawed humanity) in him that makes him very accessible, but also enough bravado and swagger to make him an ideal fictional hero. Very well done. 5 Stars!
Review by Grady Harp:
There is something about Irish authors that sets them apart from the rest. Consider the heritage of Joyce, Wilde, Beckett, Shaw, Synge, Yeats, Swift, and then add in the contemporary writers Morgan Llewellyn, John Banville, Maeve Binchy, John Connolly, Colum McCann, Colm Tóibín, John McGahern, Neil Jordan, William Trevor and the reasoning seems apparent.
Few can draw the reader in with the first paragraph, sustain tension as the characters develop, and keep you captive with a mixture of mystery, lyricism, poetry and entertainment the way the Irish can. And now we have another Irish author in the person of Derick Parsons, born in Dublin in 1966 and returned to his homeland after traveling and living in London, the USA, Poland, Germany and Holland. This is his second novel and it seems he is headed in that Irish literary tradition with new boots.
Derick Parsons opens his book with the murder on a substantial black man of Zulu heritage who frequently visits Dublin – on William Henry Akima – who after a cheery morning walk arrives at home where he is beaten to death with baseball bats by a group of masked men who leave Willie’s destroyed body with the signature `The Sons of Cuchuailainn’.
This is apparently another in the run of racist murders of black men and no one has a clue as to the motivation or identification of the killers. Those investigative questions are placed in the hands of the troubled, seemingly washed up Inspector Jack O’Neill with Dublin’s Garda Síochána and Frank Carr, a new face (and wide-eyed innocent) to the Garda Detectives. Seeing the opportunity to regain his prior status as a good inspector
Jack is faced with the dilemma that the increasing crimes are creating. How this flawed flatfoot struggles to conquer his own demons to solve a case that my prove his redemption – or death – is the pulsatile story of REDEMPTON SONG.
Parsons gets it right with that intoxicating Irish pint of humor, stealth, camaraderie, and irresistible momentum and by book’s end the reader is left hungry for a continuation.