June 8, 1921. Ireland.
A British Officer is shot dead on a remote hillside south of Dublin.
November 22, 2015. United Kingdom.
Former police detective, Jayne Sinclair, now working as a genealogical investigator, receives a phone call from an adopted American billionaire asking her to discover the identity of his real father.
How are the two events linked?
Jayne Sinclair has only three clues to help her: a photocopied birth certificate, a stolen book and an old photograph. And it soon becomes apparent somebody else is on the trail of the mystery. A killer who will stop at nothing to prevent Jayne discovering the secret hidden in the past The Irish Inheritance takes us through the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish War of Independence, combining a search for the truth of the past with all the tension of a modern-day thriller.
It is the first in a series of novels featuring Jayne Sinclair, genealogical detective.
The past has a habit of giving up its secrets…You only have to look in the right places.
Set between the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin, 1920’s Yorkshire and preset day Manchester, this mystery/thriller; the first book in the Jayne Sinclair series; follows Jayne an ex-detective turned genealogical investigator as she searches against the clock to find out the identity of her clients birth father. Armed with an old book, a photograph and an inaccurate birth certificate she has only eight days to piece the puzzle together whilst trying to keep a target off her back.
The book deals with self-discovery, not just in the sense of discovering where you came from but also in the broader context of discovering who you are within yourself. How people’s decisions affect a multitude of different situations, and deals with the consequences of not being true to yourself.
The concept of the story is a good one, combining the search for someone’s ancestry with a historical event and a little cat and mouse chase added in for the thrill. It’s not something that I personally have come across before so this made the book very intriguing from the start.
For a fair amount of the book, I found the main protagonist Jayne inconsistent and unconvincing, I often felt at times as if her “voice” changed too much. I also think her behaviour didn’t match up to what I had learned about her back-story and how I would naturally assume she would develop; which I personally found could be jarring at times. It has to be said though that towards the end of the book she did start to grow on me and it felt like her character was really beginning to find herself.
I felt similarly about quite a few of the characters that were in the present day part of the narrative, they didn’t seem to have much more than surface texture; there to help the story along but offered no real substance. As such there were many parts of the modern section of the story that struck me as if they had no real reason for being in the book, and at times seemed a little rushed, like it hadn’t been developed to its full potential.
Having said that this can be overlooked by the strength of the characters and plot of the past. It is a really well thought out element of the story. The dialogue is engaging and the descriptions of the city during the bombing and looting are very evocative; they pull you in and immerse you in the scenes; these parts were written so well it made me feel all the emotions that the characters were going through. You can empathize with the indecision in some of the Irish soldiers as they begin to realize the cost of their idealism over the reality of their situation.
I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t know anything of the Easter Rising before reading this book, but it felt like the story had a lot of valuable details included that really helped my understanding of the situation, and the story as a whole. Another great aspect of this book is that it manages to keep its suspense throughout, where I would usually have some kind of inkling towards the culprit or their motive, in this case I was kept guessing. This, to me, is a sign of a really good mystery.
Thank you to the author and Neverland Blog Tours for the review copy of this book.