The Cat Trap review on Bookspot Central
The Cat Trap is now reviewed on Bookspot Central, to read this review please click on the link below.
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.
Meath Chronical Article on KT McCaffrey
View the 2 page article which appeared in the Meath Chronicle's magazine supplement in 2007. Click here
to download this article as a pdf file.
McCaffrey, K T - 'Bishop's Pawn'
Hardback: 224 pages (Jan. 2007) Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd ISBN: 0709082622
If it's linguistic pyrotechnics you're after, you'd be advised to look elsewhere: KT McCaffrey writes in a quiet, measured and very effective fashion that reflects the way his main protagonist, journalist Emma Boylan, goes about her business.
Set in Dublin, BISHOP'S PAWN is a sequel-of-sorts to McCaffrey's first novel, REVENGE (1999). It opens with Emma discovering that the newspaper she works for is about to publish her obituary. Other newspapers follow suit, and - as corpses begin to pile up - it soon becomes apparent that the practical joke has sinister overtones. In REVENGE, Emma was one of a number of eyewitnesses to the suicide of a woman whose life had been destroyed by an elaborate cover-up partly engineered by the Catholic Church. Now the woman's daughter has come of age, and seems hell-bent on nothing less than divinely inspired retribution.
The thrill of KT McCaffrey's writing is the juxtaposition between that finely modulated downbeat style and the apocalyptic scenario it describes. Emma is an Everywoman who is not particularly tough or hardboiled, and whose domestic concerns run parallel to the CSI-style bodycount. The tension that builds relentlessly from the early stages is derived from Emma's very ordinariness, which includes a penchant for logical thinking appropriate to an investigative journalist, and the outrageous machinations of the psychopathic murderess she finds herself pitted against. Certainly McCaffrey can do pithy humour - "there's a breeze out there that'd freeze a pawnbroker's balls" - and his multiple-character narrative that drives with tragic inevitability towards an explosive finale has all the components of a blockbuster movie script. But once the dust has settled, the abiding and poignant memory is of McCaffrey's skill in evoking the nuances of Emma's plight as she finds herself at the heart of a maelstrom that threatens to destroy everything she once believed in. The ability to mine the extraordinary from the ordinary, as the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh once put it, is not one that should be underestimated. BISHOP'S PAWN is a superb addition to the canon of Irish crime fiction.
Declan Burke, Ireland
Review in ‘Books Ireland’ Autumn 1999
Revenge. K.T. McCaffrey. Marino. 400pp £5.99 pb 1-86023-083-0
A suspense thriller ‘not for the squeamish’ about a woman in her thirties intent on getting even with the powerful businessman who raped her when she was eighteen. The detective figure is a female investigative journalist who goes where the police fear to tread. Unusual for Marino Books to put a toe in the mass paperback market, but they do it well, and at the end there’s sixteen pages providing the first chapter of McCaffrey’s next book(staring the same journalist) as a come-on – something we haven’t seen done before.
We’re told nothing about K.T.McCaffrey, and somehow guess it’s a nom de guerre, perhaps of a more serious writer? Though what could be more serious than making money by keeping you on the edge of your deck chair.
END OF THE LINE
‘An Irish writer to watch
Deadly Pleasure ‘A well plotted book with strong momentum and an engaging heroine.’
Susanna Yager, Daily Telegraph
‘A new Irish author who slots comfortably into the Ruth Rendell
Peter Lovesey – Reginald Hill school of crime writing -TIME OUT
‘A welcome addition to the ranks of superior crime writers
Peter Guttridge, The Observer.
END OF THE LINE
Review in –‘iloveamysterynewsletter. 17th February 2004
END OF THE LINE, set in contemporary Dublin, is a fast paced, engaging read by Irish writer KT McCaffrey. The story follows award winning investigative reporter Emma Boylan as she collects information on an accident that has claimed the life of a parish priest and critically injured his driver. It is soon clear to MS. Boylan and the police that this was a homicide, not an accident. From this point in the story Boylan’s attention turns to Lonsdale, a working class suburb and the home of Father O’Gorman’s parish. Day by day she develops the story for her paper, often under pressure from her editor for a sensational, front-page story.
The Ireland that McCaffrey describes is not one of Catholic guilt and sexual repression. Indeed, in Lonsdale many of the citizens, including the clergy and the police, are involved in dalliances, affairs, and various imbroglios, providing Boylan with lots of material to consider as she looks for a motive in O’Gorman’s death. The discovery of a second body, found in O’Gorman’s confessional, further complicates the investigation.
The story is presented in an almost filmic manner. The narrative cuts from scene to scene and character to character, shifting from one point of view to the next. There are also cuts to the past in the form of a diary written by Nelly Joyce, the mother of Father O’Gorman’s housekeeper, Caroline Blackman. These Diary entries provide important background material that plays into the final revelations in the story.
The plot twists and turns through 300 plus pages, moving back and forth from present events to things that happened decades before. Scene by scene, chapter by chapter, the story is told in a vivid, gripping manner, with more than enough to keep you occupied and entertained until you reach the final page
‘A compelling and imaginative novel, one which I found difficult to put down’ - Pauline Ferrie – Irish Abroad website
‘A very plausible and interesting read that has plenty of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat - Heather Higgins – The Irish World
The Body Rock by KT McCaffrey
KT McCaffrey has written two best-selling thrillers, - Revenge and Killing Time. It looks like he may have a third one here. It began quietly enough. Jamie Wilson, son of Maeve and Todd, is celebrating his 18th birthday. Reads some cards, one from his girlfriend at university. He is busy finding the knot in the length of cord.
His estranged nanny has gone to great trouble to find exactly the right present. Unsure of her welcome, she knocks on his door.
‘She eases the door inwards. It was a full second before her scream began. In that awful moment of horror, she saw the spectacle of Jamie hanging by a rope from the ceiling.
Emma Boylan, an investigative reporter on honeymoon, discovers that the Wilson’s world is falling apart and it’s not random fate. Her last article had been on Todd Wilson. She’d questioned his integrity and business ventures. The wife, Maeve, is seemingly a public paragon.
A sinister plot to destroy them is gradually, teasingly revealed. As Emma gets closer to the truth, she realises her life may be at stake.
I’d highly recommend this book. It’s a long novel and once you begin, you’ll want to stay with it. There are guilty secrets buried all over the Wilson’s past and revenge is the way they’ll be brought to light. During the lengthy teasing out of the plot, KT maintains the tension superbly. As the narrative twists and turns and no one is quite who they seem, the readers interest is heightened.
Review in ‘Books Ireland’ Autumn 1999
Revenge. K.T. McCaffrey. Marino. 400pp £5.99 pb 1-86023-083-0
A really good read, this thriller gripped my attention from page one and held it till the end. Susan Furlong is a woman totally obsessed with the desire for revenge on the man who raped her twelve years earlier. Her need for revenge extends way beyond her rapist and includes all those who stand in her way, from the most influential heads of church, state and business to those who try to silence her and keep her story from the public. Susan also wants her daughter back–the child conceived as a result of the rape and happily living with adoptive parents. The heroine of the story is a young journalist, Emma Boylan, who has the courage to carry her investigations into the very heart of the most powerful institutions in the country. This book will be a huge seller. It deals with many current issues, particularly those of child abuse and the way in which our society has, in the past, treated young single, pregnant girls.
It is a topical story which, although very extreme and dramatic, will appeal to those who avidely follow similar stories in the press. My only reservation is that I feel that we have experienced enough bashing of Irish priests and nuns in recent times. The clergy in particular in this story are portrayed as pompous, self-serving, manipulative and overly powerful. Bishop Treanor, central to the plot, in a sermon on the notion of women priests: “Why, the very idea is absurd. Like Saint Paul, like myself,we know that the woman’s place is in the family home, looking after the children and giving comfort to her man. To allow women to say Mass would be to degrade it.” At the climax of a most appalling tragedy this same portly cleric was considering his options and working out a damage limitation exercise to protect his career. Equally, the goings on in the Mother of Perpetual Succour Hospital, a psychiatric institution run by nuns, are amazing. We all know by now that a relatively small number of the clergy in the past have committed crime, some of it quite dreadful. We have also been told numerous and shocking accounts of the ill treatment of single mothers and those with psychiatric illness. Undeniably horrific.
Can’t we now begin to move on? Can’t we accept the fact that every profession or organisation attracts both good and bad and that the vast majority of our clergy and religious are decent, ordinary, law-abiding citizens? I felt that the author in this instance jumped on a popular clergy-bashing bandwagon. Overall though, the book is very enjoyable. The pace is fast and the tension is constant throughout.
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