Anthony J. Quinn


" extremely strong debut and heralds a new talent..."


On a cold winters evening, special agent David Hughes disappears. His sister contacts the local police saying he has been kidnapped. By whom she cannot say, but her brother has early stage Alzheimer’s and should not be out on such a cold bleak night.

Enter Inspector Celsius Daly who has drawn the short straw to drive out to Hughes’ remote farm to find the missing man, but there is something about the strange behaviour of Hughes’ sister that already starts alarm bells ringing.

Add to the mix the body of an ex-intelligence officer found on a remote island who has obviously been executed by others for past misdemeanours. And why was his obituary in the local newspaper before he had been killed?

Everything points back to the Troubles and the unjust killing of a man who may or may not have been an informer – and what part did both these men play in this drama of betrayal? Daly will find himself going back in time to bring together all the strands and hopefully stop more killings in the present.

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Quinn’s debut is a dark affair bringing together the good and the bad of a wonderful place such as Ireland. There is an exacting feel to Quinn’s novel, as though his writing has been pared right down to the bone. And yet, there is also a depth to his story, as though every word has been weighed before being kept or discarded. ‘Disappeared’ is a highly emotional tale, showing that even though the Troubles have been brought to a peaceful solution, for many there are still many unanswered questions about missing loved ones. Quinn admirably shows the depth of the wounds that many carry around in their everyday lives. Celsius Daly is a sufficiently defunct policeman who has a few demons on his back to make him more human and interesting but without detracting from the main plot. As the author has stated, we will learn more about Daly and his life throughout the next few novels. I enjoyed the descriptions of the Irish landscape, although others may think that Quinn lingers too much on it to the detriment of pace. I can understand that, but I felt when I finished the novel that Quinn had managed to balance the two sublimely. ‘Disappeared’ is an extremely strong debut and heralds a new talent who I feel could reach dizzying heights over time. His creation, Celsius Daly is an intriguing man and one whose company I look forward to keeping in future. The subject matter of this debut will not sit well with some, but then I don’t feel it is the job of any writer to have an easy ride, or to give his readers one for that matter. This can sometimes be an unsettling book but is all the more gripping for it. ‘Disappeared’ will put you through the emotional wringer and because of that makes it a book that will stay with you long after the final page.

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