Long ago, Declan Burke fled Ireland in the dark of night, started a new life in New York City, and has never looked back?until one morning he picks up the newspaper and reads the obituary of one Cathal Murphy. He sees at once that the obituary is a coded summary of his own life and probably a thinly veiled death threat. He turns to Halifax lawyer Monty Collins for advice, but when Monty starts to investigate the obit’s allusions to Declan’s IRA past, Declan decides to keep his lips sealed. But keeping old secrets becomes much more difficult after a burst of gunfire at a family wedding and the appearance of Leo Killeen, the commanding officer of Declan’s former battalion in Dublin. Declan and Monty are confronted by a cast of enigmatic characters, including the owner of a nightclub frequented by the New York mob; a sultry chanteuse; and Burke’s hotheaded son Fran-cis, whose resentment and dubious activities set the family on a road to destruction. The subsequent discovery of a body in a rundown Brooklyn flat forces Declan to confront the suspicion that he has been manipulated all along by an unseen hand.
Anne Emery is an attorney and the author of Barrington Street Blues, Cecilian Vespers, and Sign of the Cross. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
"The large pool of suspects from around the globe ensure a challenging whodunit. Readers interested in the history and impact of the Vatican II reforms will be especially rewarded." — Publishers Weekly on Cecilian Vespers
"Emery continues to imbue her stories with a strong sense of place, using real Halifax street names and plenty of affectionate descriptions of the weather and countryside. Series readers will be pleased with the new story and character developments, as will those looking for a fresh setting." — Booklist on Cecilian Vespers
"A finely plotted crime novel that incorporates some of the key still-unresolved issues confronting the Catholic Church in 1991, when the story takes place. Readers who enjoy ecclesiastical mysteries by William X. Kienzle and Julia Spencer-Fleming may want to try this one." — Library Journal on Cecilian Vespers