What the blurb says: “DI Leo Woods’ life is a mess. Work keeps him sane. More or less. On an ice-cold winter morning in an affluent Dublin suburb, he stares down at the bloodied corpse of a property developer. Dermot Brennan’s features, distorted in terror, are a reflection of Leo’s own disfigured face. Life does that kind of thing to Leo. Makes faces at him.
With the help of ambitious but impetuous Detective Sergeant Helen Troy, Leo uncovers a frosted web of lies, where nobody is quite who they seem. But who ever is? A host of suspects emerge: Brennan’s beautiful but aloof wife, Anna; their estranged son; two former business associates bearing grudges and secrets; a young man convinced Brennan has ruined his life; an ex-pat American gardener; and an arrogant sculptor who may or may not have been having an affair with the dead man’s wife.
As ice and snow grip Dublin, Woods and Troy find themselves battling forces as malevolent as the weather: jealousy, greed and betrayal. Can they identify the murderer before things get even uglier?”
Mark O’Sullivan is already an award-winning author having published three pre-teen, four Young Adult and one adult novel. Crocodile Tears is his debut in literary crime fiction.
It’s a beautifully crafted and gripping story as you follow fifty-six-year-old DI Leo Woods on the hunt for a killer.
As the blurb says, there are a lot of suspects in this story, all with secrets to hide, and all with potential motive and opportunity to have killed Dermot Brennan.
What I loved about this book is the way that the investigation gradually revealed clues to the killer’s identity without making the final truth clear until the end. Add into the mix the atmospheric setting, Leo’s rather complicated personal life, and his need to keep the investigation (and his bosses) on track and on site despite the sometimes rash actions of his talented, eager but on occasion impetuous Detective Sergeant, Helen Troy, and you’ve got an engrossing story and a web of relationships and secrets that will stay with you long after you’ve read the final page.
[With thanks to Transworld Publishers for my copy of Crocodile Tears]