To Go: 86
11. Blue Monday — Nicci French
12. Mrs. Kennedy and Me — Clint Hill
13. The Imperfectionists — Tom Rachman
14. The Rage — Gene Kerrigan
I found The Rage the first time that I walked into the gorgeous Nicholas Hoare bookstore, so I’m especially glad that I went to visit before it closed. And, embarrassingly, I finished it exactly a week ago, and just haven’t had time to review it until today. Because there’s been a week of deadlines, late nights, stress, and general craziness between the time I closed the book and the time I’m writing about it, my review might be a little fuzzy and short.
The Rage, set against the backdrop of modern-day Dublin, intertwines the seemingly unrelated stories of a newly-released convict planning his next big heist on an armoured car; a well-meaning cop who’s caught perjuring himself to protect other policemen; and a nun who spots a suspicious car in front of her house, and whose call to the police sets in motion a horrifying series of events.
Kerrigan’s fast-paced, film noir-style novel puts the reader inside the heads of a particularly nasty set of characters: Victor, our convict, steals whenever he thinks he can gets away with it, and briefly contemplates rape; Bob, the detective, is jaded by years of work and willing to go even more rogue than Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch; and Maura may have been a nun in her past life, but she’s far from saint-like. Yet it’s impossible to truly hate any of them: they all have weak spots and moments of kindness, that make them messy, complicated, and more relatable than they should be.
Messy is a good word to describe The Rage: it’s full of angry characters doing bad things, usually with good intentions—Victor’s disturbing killing spree to honour his late brother, whom he adored, is proof enough of that. The final pages of the book leave the characters with the upsetting realization that they’ve done some things, in the name of love or duty, that have everlasting damage. But maybe, from there, they can begin to move on.
Next book: Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler — Trudi Kanter
(P.S.: Did you know the Irish police are called the Garda? The more you know!)