When the naked, blood-encrusted body of a well-known property developer is discovered on a graveyard slab, the media frenzy surrounding the story is overwhelming. Investigative journalist Emma Boylan is assigned to the case but she soon discovers that she will be playing second fiddle to a rival male reporter, much to her displeasure.
Peeved at being sidelined, Emma embarks on a line of inquiry that leads her deep into the dark side of London's West End. Dead bodies continue to turn up amid the most elaborate theatrical settings imaginable.
Undeterred, she probes further into disturbing deeds that have been a long time hidden. Now she must peel away layer after layer of deception until events collide and spiral into a terrifying, spectacular climax…
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Fionnuala McGoldrick finds herself more than pleasantly surprised by this Irish thriller.
I have to be honest and say that when I first picked up this book I was slightly dismayed. The cover depicted feet - encased in high heeled shoes - standing between police tape and my first reaction was to say ‘Oh no, I hate gory crime novels’. However, once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. Far from being the graphic, horrific novel I first envisaged, I found it to be thoroughly intriguing - with a well written plot and humorous interludes.
Emma Boylan is a feisty investigative journalist working for a leading Dublin paper. She was married for ten years, before embarking on an affair with Detective Inspector Jim Connolly. Her actions, in this regard, cause a domino effect and what starts out as a scheme for revenge by Connolly’s ex-wife turns into a manhunt when people start dying in unusual circumstances.
Connolly is charged with two murders. One of the victims is his ex-wife, the other, her housekeeper. Iseult Connolly’s original plan was only to accuse her husband of the aggravated rape of her housekeeper; a charge which was to be backed up by the ‘First Friday Club’ which she was part of. The club meet on the first Friday of every month and its members are the crème de la crème of Dublin’s female high society. The sole purpose of their meetings is to use their time and resources, as rich women of leisure, to exact revenge on anyone who has annoyed them. Jim Connolly was to be their next ‘victim’, but somehow their plan to humiliate Connolly - by losing him his job and reputation - goes horribly wrong when Iseult is found dead, along with her housekeeper, Nuala Buckley. Someone has obviously infiltrated their network and is using the situation for their own benefit. Another death, a kidnapping and a suspected blackmail add to the mystery, but it seems clear that someone is out to frame Connolly and harm Emma in the process. This becomes even more apparent when Emma is attacked.
Boylan uses all her skills as a journalist to try and get as much information as she can to extricate her lover - the now disgraced Connolly - from behind bars The women of ‘The First Friday Club’ seem to know more than they are telling and some of Detective Connolly’s police friends don’t seem as wholesome or honest as they should be. But is Emma looking to the wrong people for answers?
This book is absolutely fantastic and I would love to see it televised or made into a film. The storyline is so full of twists and turns that any viewer would be glued to the screen. The ending is completely unexpected - as is the way with most worthwhile books of this genre - and has you begging for more. I was particularly impressed with the male author’s understanding of the female psyche. I had never heard of K.T. McCaffrey before this but am now a definite fan of both him and his brilliant writing. It may be a cliché, but I for one will never again make the mistake of judging the book solely by its cover
Reproduced from Verbal Magazine, Northern Ireland.
The Cat Trap - Review by Myles McWeeney
Irish Independent Sat 5th April
Weekend Review Section
In the latest of the excellent series featuring Dublin journalist Emma Boylan, Emma is facing a sea-change in her life. She's left her husband and moved in with her lover, DI Jim Connolly, and is considering leaving the Post to become media manager for Ireland's latest political party, The Social Alliance Party.
But when Connolly is arrested for the murder of his estranged wife Iseult and a friend, Emma is thrown into a desperate search for the real culprits, who she knows must have some link to the privileged world Iseult inhabited, a world of trophy wives who feel short-changed by their pampered lives.
Emma's quest for the truth is hampered by the fact that some of Jim Connolly's colleagues resent him, and are not interested in clearing his name. She knows he's being framed, but the who and the why of it lead her into a closed world occupied by glamorous but glossily sinister women. It's only when she herself is attacked that the authorities act and Emma manages to clear her lover.
KT McCaffrey maintains the suspense throughout, and casts a cold eye on the gloss of modern Ireland.
Rubbing Against Shapely Legs
A body no sooner hits the Dublin streets, it seems, than the scene is thick with vigilante mamas, former feds, enigmatic detective sergeants and hard-drinking private eyes. There is even a tea lady making a buck or two off the crowd. All that's been missing is a reporter to cover the story for the papers- if she can elbow Ireland's aspiring crime writers aside and get close enough to see.
Enter Emma Boylan, investigative journalist for the fictitious Post. K.T. McCaffrey's Boylan marks her sixth sexy adventure in The Cat Trap. This time the dead body discovered in an affluent Dublin mansion is the ex-wife of Boylan's boyfriend, Detective Inspector Jim Connolly. This time (as with all the best mysteries) it's personal.
The Cat Trap rubs against the shapely, übërpösh legs of DI Connolly's ex-wife, Iseult Connolly, and her glamorous circle. It's a sordid tale of amorality among the Irish capital's bitchy super-rich.
Diana had an especially warm welcome for Iseult Connolly and took the opportunity to whisper how gorgeous her new escort looked. As a frequent visitor to the Elliott's Costa del Sol home, Iseult habitually turned up with a handsome beau in tow. Diana, a stickler for protocol, had included Iseult's detective husband on the invitation but, as expected, he would not show. In his absence Iseult liked to pick a partner more in tune with the glamour and razzmatazz that went hand in hand with such high-toned bashes. Later in the evening Diana would quiz Iseult for a rundown on her latest paramour's prowess. Descriptions employed by Iseult to measure her lover's performance borrowed heavily from equine speak: Alisdair, she would declare, was worthy of the Blue Riband. Mark was a good three-day event rider. Trevor was hung like a young stallion and quick to his oats. James reacted well to the whip. Charles was good in the saddle and had stamina to take her all the way to the final puissance. And so it would go.
After poor cuckold Connolly is locked in Cloverhill Prison, it's up to Emma Boylan to clear his name. Harried by Connolly's vindictive former colleagues, Emma soldiers on with the help of an occasional colorful ally. Will people who wouldn't even look at a policeman open up and speak to a reporter? Will Emma's journalistic contacts open the right doors? Will she be able to reveal the ugliness that the wealthy use all their power to hide?
Though the Emma chapters (either the Connolly thread or her own exploration of the world of Irish politics) were entertaining, I found McCaffrey most engaging when walking Dublin in the designer shoes of Iseult Connolly's cocaine-snorting circle. Pick up a copy of The Cat Trap and sample its prologue for vividly described Dilettante vengeance. With rich husbands providing power and immunity, what could possibly stop these bored beauties from avenging their countless envies, inadequacies and grudges?
One criticism is that crime fic fans have crossed The Cat Trap's territory before. Temple Bar's trendy restaurants, a prison visitng area, the heroine's apartment with possible baddie lurking in ambush.... Been there, drank that. The novel visits new locales as well, though I'd love to have seen the secret non-posh places frequented by those with the power to go anywhere.
Reproduced by Kind Permission from
FELINE FOXINESS: REVIEW OF
THE CAT TRAP
Investigative reporter Emma Boylan left her husband and is living with Detective Inspector Jim Connolly. Iseult, Connolly's ex-wife asks him to visit her at precisely mid-day at the house that her father bought them as a wedding present. There is no answer at the door and Connolly lets himself in and wanders through the house eventually discovering the body of Iseult in the garage, an apparent suicide.
This is the start of a complex, exciting story set among the beautiful people of Dublin. Well the women are beautiful; the only thing attractive about most of the male characters is their wealth.
Jim Connolly is arrested for the murder of both Iseult and her friend Nuala Buckley whose badly beaten body is found later on the property, and Emma begins an investigation to find the real culprit among the cast of larger than life characters.
I don’t want to go into the plot any more and would advise readers to avoid reading the front flap which I think reveals too much.
Ireland is apparently awash with European Union grants and the economic boom is delivering wealth into the hands of those who probably had a strict Catholic upbringing in convent schools or Jesuit boarding schools.
This is a heady cocktail and KT McCaffrey, who has written six previous Emma Boylan novels, has produced a really good mystery, with some social commentary on the various ills and excesses of the modern age; drugs, ostentatious wealth, the fear of old age, colonic irrigation, anal bleaching, and rich trophy wives with too much time on their hands.
This is a well written real page turner, and while I found his strong female characters great fun to read about I would probably run a mile if I met them in real life. You don’t meet many wealthy women in dark glasses when you drive a Nissan Micra, apart from my 96 year old mother in law of course.
Murder, sex, wealth, glamorous but sinister women, and the glossy world of the Celtic Tiger makes a pretty unbeatable combination for good crime fiction.
The book's cover is both eye catching and a good introduction to the story.
This is a really enjoyable read with enough red herrings to satisfy the most discerning crime fiction addict, and some very topical subject matter.
“I firmly believe they over-prescribed anti-depressants for Nuala; the doctors seemed to rely way too readily on handing out pills to those they considered mentally ill.”
“His grandiose vision for Emma saw her as a latter-day John the Baptist, her mission to prepare the way and spread the gospel of the new political Messiah.”
Reproduced by Kind Permission from Crime Scraps
It's a Crime! (or a mystery...)
First up, you can buy K. T. McCaffrey's novel The Cat Trap via Amazon here. The cover is eye-catching and promises a dynamic story with a strong female focus, so what is delivered?
Early scenes central to the plot are mixed with some other quite sinister ones. It soon becomes apparent that there are some very malign women operating in Dublin. And just what is the link? In crime fiction the setting for low life activities often falls to those with little money; but here, it's with those with too much money and time on their hands that we enter that sinister and eerie world.
The novel is great on suspense and full of red herrings. You really do have to read all the way to the end to fnd out the truth, as Emma eventually does. There are plenty of strong and memorable characters, but are they all the seem to be?
Lastly, reading can also be an education. I was familiar with colonic irrigation but I'd never heard of "anal bleaching". (Go on, Google it yourself if you don't already know.) I mention this as an example of the world entered in this novel. How some live...
The Cat Trap is a classic suspenseful mystery, brimming with malevolent and misplaced motivations and a welcome addition to the crime fiction reader's bookshelf. Just make sure it's high up in the To Be Read list.
Reproduced by Kind Permission from Itsacrime.
KT McCaffreys Latest book 'The Cat Trap' Release on February 29th 2008
KT McCaffrey's latest crime novel 'The Cat Trap, published by Robert Hale Publishing will be on the shelves, 29th February 2008.
In a nutshell: investigative reporter Emma Boylan left her husband and took up with Detective Inspector Jim Connolly. Connolly's marriage had always seemed an ill match with a policeman married to a rather wealthy woman whose father gave them their large house as a wedding gift. All is fine, until one day, Connolly's ex-wife asks him to visit her at precisely mid-day. With no answer, Connolly eventually discovers the body of Iseult in a car in the garage, an apparent suicide. Then comes the implosion. Connolly is arrested in connection with his ex-wife's death and while on remand, Iseult's friend Nuala is found on the property having been badly beaten and apparently raped. Fingers point at Connolly for Nuala's murder when she later dies in hospital. Emma is convinced that Jim is innocent, but she's up against her media colleagues, Connolly's own police colleagues and Dublin society in trying to find out the truth...
Mi Casa, Su Casa: KT McCaffrey
The continuing stooooooory of how the Grand Vizier puts his feet up and lets other writers talk some sense for a change. This week: KT McCaffrey (right) on catching the crime fiction bug.
The Butcher(ed) Boy
Why, you might ask, would a writer choose to take crime fiction as his or her subject? At what point does an author say, yep, that’s what I’m going to write about? Moi? I think I was about nine years of age when I got the bug. This would have been about the time I got to know an old-style cop named John Duffin from my home town of Clara, in County Offaly. Think ‘Heartbeat’ rather than ‘The Bill’, a time when local Gardai, like the parish priest, the bank manager and the school headmaster, were held in high esteem. A friend of the family, Garda Duffin liked nothing better than to chat about his involvement with local ne’er-do-wells.
One of the darker stories he told concerned a local murder that had taken place in 1941. This would have been a decades or so before I was born. It kicked off in a somewhat comical manner.
Bernard Kirwan, who lived with his younger brother Larry on a small farm in Rahan, five miles from Clara, took a notion to do a spot of armed robbery. With minimum preparation, he took a hacksaw to the double barrels of his shotgun, donned a mask, and held up the local postman. Through a contact in the post office sorting room he’d learned that the postal delivery included registered mail containing cash. Bernard could have shot the postman to facilitate his escape but decided instead to blast the bicycle’s tyres with both barrels, an action he hoped would achieve the same objective. He was caught of course (the postman recognised his voice) and was given seven years ‘hard’ in Portlaoise Jail.
His time inside proved uneventful except for the fact that he learned the skills of butchery while there, a factor that would play a major part in subsequent events. Conditional release was granted four years later. He returned to the farm, intending to take charge, but his younger brother Larry had other ideas. Hostilities broke out and a struggle for supremacy ensued.
Larry refused to give Bernard food or a wage for his work on the farm. Bernard, with no means to sustain himself, began to steal food and money. Fist fights, and even a knife attack, marked the brothers increasing bitterness. When it seemed like things couldn’t get any worse, Larry went missing. His girlfriend became worried when he didn’t show for a date. Friends who had expected to see him became concerned when he failed to show. When Bernard was questioned about his brother’s unexplained disappearance, he claimed Larry had gone to visit an aunt in Kildare. Inquiries took a little longer back then but within a few days it was established that Larry had never gone to his aunt.
Foul play was suspected.
Neighbours, aware of the brothers’ hatred for each other, noticed smoke coming from Kirwan’s boiler house twice in as many days. This they considered odd due to the fact that no cooked meal had been fed to the pigs. When it became known that Bernard had learned butchery skills, the Garda decided to investigate. He fobbed them off, saying he’d been burning rubbish, but he now found himself subjected to round-the-clock surveillance. One of those assigned to cover his movements was my friend Garda John Duffin.
Knowing he was being watched, Bernard undertook long bicycle trips to the neighbouring towns of Kilbeggan, Moate, Tullamore and Mullingar. John Duffin, who carried quite a bit of weight, was forced to get on his bike and follow the suspect to each location and back again. At journey’s end, Bernard would wave cheekily to the fully uniformed and totally exhausted Duffin. Prefiguring The General many years later, Bernard liked nothing better than to cock a snoot at the law.
Eventually, men working on a bog, less than a mile from the Kirwan farm, dug up a human torso. With what forensics existed at the time they were able to establish that it was the remains of Larry Kirwan. Bernard stood trial, accused of using his butchery skills to kill his brother, hack off the limbs, burn them, and then bury the torso.
He was found guilty and hanged in 1943.
I wasn’t the only person that John Duffin told this macabre tale to; he also related it to playwright Brendan Behan, who used it as the basis of his 1954 play THE QUARE FELLOW. I’ve never seen the play but then, I have no need to see it. As a young impressionable lad, I’d heard it first hand – related in far more graphic detail than outlined above – something that insured I would retain a fascination for the darker aspects of the human psychic for the rest of my life. I suppose I should consider myself lucky to have channelled this interest into my writing rather than anything, shall we say, more malevolent. – KT McCaffrey
KT McCaffrey’s THE CAT TRAP is published by Robert Hale.
Article by kind permission
The birth of crime fiction's top investigative reporter
How was I supposed to write a detective novel without employing a detective as the main protagonist? Why did I choose to embark on that route in the first place? Could it be that, as a voracious reader of crime fiction, I had become weary of the cliché-ridden characteristics trotted out so often in that genre? I mean, come on, who hasn't been taken in by the hard-drinking, heavy-smoking, wise-cracking, womanising, anti-establishment, anti-authority, hot-headed, reckless, eccentric, non-conformist maverick who, by breaking all the rules, comes up smelling of roses in the final chapter? Truth is, we all love it, but I thought I'd try for something a bit different. So, I decided to make my central character an investigative reporter ... a female investigative reporter.
Name: Emma Boylan.
OK, maybe it's been done before but certainly not to the excesses of the afore mentioned detectives, so I got in touch with my feminine side and went for it. I have not, as some readers have suggested, based Emma on Veronica Guerin, though I've always admired what she achieved. My role model was someone I got to know in the 80s. Back then, I ran a company that produced a series of weekly magazines and journals. Business & Finance was one such publication. They employed a journalist named Aileen O'Toole who sometimes worked on heavy-duty investigative probes into the murkier depths of big business. She avoided going down the 'power-pinstripe suit' track and remained thoroughly feminine both in dress and manner. She was damn good at her job and had more 'balls' than most of her male colleagues, while remaining true to herself.
I like to think that my heroine, Emma Boylan, displays many of the qualities I saw in O'Toole; both have the ability to delve beneath the skin of their assignments and to use feminine psychology to arrive at satisfactory outcomes. That said, my fictional character has, of late, displayed some 'fault lines' that are in no way reflective of Ms O'Toole's personality. Disclaimer!!!
Having given myself the power to create woman, I had to think about her appearance, her looks. Tell the truth, my descriptions have varied somewhat over the six books already published. I see Emma as an amalgam of Hilary Swank, Victoria Smurfit and Jean Butler. What – an Oscar winning, gender-bending, daughter of an Anglo-Irish wealthy family, capable of treating us to a few steps from Riverdance? Yeah, right!
If they ever get around to casting Emma in a TV series or film, oh, what fun we'll have. Emma's next appearance, in book form that is, will be in The Cat Trap, published by Robert Hale Publishing and available from Feb. 29th 2008.
Right now, I'm busy putting my intrepid reporter through her paces on her seventh outing and, until I tire of her or the public stop being entertained by her adventures, I'll keep Emma Boylan chained to the keyboard.
Bishops Pawn available in Large Print for Impared Vision
KT McCaffrey's current crime novel 'Bishops Pawn', published Jan. 2007 by Robert Hale, London, is to be issued in Large a print edition by Torpe Publishing for persons with impaired vision throughout the UK, British Commonwealth countries including Canada.
This edition will be found in Public Libraries, Hospital Libraries, Institutions for the blind, welfare authorities, schools for partially sighted children, homes for the elderly and charitable organisations.
Offical Website of Crime Fiction Author KT McCaffrey
Welcome to the offical website of crime fiction author KT McCaffrey. KT is pleased to have this platform and hopes that all his readers around the world will find the site a usefull resource for all the latest KT news. The site contains details of all of KT's crime books and latest news as well as a sideways glance at his passion for painting.