I am beyond excited to be kick starting the blog tour for Angels in the Moonlight by Caimh McDonnell today. I loved A Man With One of Those Faces and The Day That Never Comes and could not wait to get my hands on this, the prequel. I’m delighted that Caimh joins me today with a brilliant guest post on the inspiration behind Angels in the Moonlight so, without further ado, I will tell you about the book, then hand you over to Caimh and finally share my thoughts. Enjoy!
For Detective Bunny McGarry, life is complicated, and it is about to get more so.
It’s 1999 and his hard-won reputation amongst Dublin’s criminal fraternity, for being a massive pain in the backside, is unfortunately shared by his bosses. His partner has a career-threatening gambling problem and, oh yeah, Bunny’s finally been given a crack at the big time. He is set the task of bringing down the most skilled and ruthless armed robbers in Irish history. So, the last thing he needs in his life is yet another complication.
Her name is Simone. She is smart, funny, talented and, well, complicated. When her shocking past turns up to threaten her and Bunny’s chance at a future, things get very complicated indeed. If the choice is upholding the law or protecting those he loves, which way will the big fella turn?
Angels in the Moonlight is the standalone prequel to Caimh McDonnell’s critically acclaimed Dublin Trilogy, and it is complicated.
Inspiration by Caimh McDonnell
It is one of the great truths of life that nobody has ever asked an accountant where they get their ideas from. People should start doing that, because it would take a lot of the heat off us authors. I’ve been asked that question a few times and, generally, I give some variation of a funny response that doesn’t answer the question. Nobody likes to answer that question, not least because there really is no satisfying answer. In all honesty, most of the time the ideas are just there in my head when I jump into the shower in the morning. Perhaps my subconscious has worked them out overnight, perhaps my brain reacts well to water, perhaps I do all my best thinking naked. Certainly, I seem to think more clearly when naked, even if the thought is ‘I should very definitely not have taken my clothes off here’.
Still though, for the first and probably last time ever, I have gone through latest novel, Angels in the Moonlight, and tried to identify, where possible, how I arrived at certain conclusions. What this has resulted in is a weird scrapbook of ideas that may make little or no sense, but if nothing else, it’ll make you think twice before asking that dreaded question of anyone, even your accountant.
Getting annoyed at Lethal Weapon
You know the famous scene in Lethal Weapon where Mel Gibson’s character is dealing with a man trying to jump off a building? He handcuffs himself to him and then they both jump. Here’s the thing – it is a great scene that makes absolutely no sense. There’s a big inflatable bouncy castle type thing below that they land on – how did the jumper not know that was there? I’ve never jumped off a building but I’m pretty sure that if I was going to, I’d be incredibly focused on the ground. That has bugged me for thirty years, the whole first scene of my book is essentially me doing a distinctly Dublin version of that scene, with no invisible bouncy castles anywhere to be seen or indeed not seen.
A benign cyst
Speaking of romance … I was once the proud owner of a benign cyst. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, the human body will occasionally grow these entirely harmless lumps that, though slightly alarming, have zero medical repercussions. It’s one of the ways that life reminds us that while the human body is a miracle, God could still have probably asked for a bit of help on the finishing touches or maybe done some beta testing. I had one on my back that my long-suffering wife was not a big fan of. She eventually talked me into getting it removed because
it was bothering her she was concerned about it. Long story short, I then had an operation and a severely unpleasant reaction to anesthetic. There’s an instance in the book where one of the characters is about to go through that same operation. Essentially, I wrote that so I could bring it up again without my wife being allowed to roll her eyes and tell me to get over it.
Some of you young’uns might not remember but back in the good old days (1999), we all thought the world was going to end due to a thing called the Millennium Bug – a very real and serious problem created by IT people that was going to cause planes to fall from the sky, all computers to stop working and my ma’s microwave to blow up so she had to unplug it and put it outside in the garden for safety. The only possible way to fix this was to pay IT people an awful lot of money – funny that. The best thing about it was if nothing happened they had done a brilliant job. This meant on January 1st 2000 the entire world felt a tremendous sense of anticlimax and started noticing the suspicious amount of IT consultants who now owned sports cars. I was working in IT at the time and while my compatriots were making out like bandits, I was spending my time reading endless articles on the internet about cults and predictions about how the world was going to end. Understand, I didn’t think it was going to end, I just developed an unhealthy fascination with those that did. I think I may’ve essentially set my book in 1999 just so I could share my obsession with one of my characters. Nothing is wasted – well, apart from if you gave away all your earthly possessions in the firm belief that the world was about to end, that is a bit of a waste.
Having re-read this, I think it is fair to say you could read the book (which I strongly suggest you do) and not have any idea what effect any of the above had on its creation. There’s an old saying in American politics, that laws are like sausages; it’s better if people don’t see how they’re made. I think we can now add novels to that list.
Thanks Caimh for the great post. Angels in the Moonlight certainly brought back fond memories of my mis-spent early adulthood in 1999 (and now I feel old!).
Bunny is back! And I am bloomin’ glad he is! Angels in the Moonlight is the prequel to the brilliant Dublin Trilogy and it takes us back to 1999 when Bunny is still working as a detective. If you haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy Angels in the Moonlight is a great place to start (obviously … it’s a prequel!) and it is equally great for those who are familiar with and, let’s face it, love Bunny.
The first chapter is perfectly set. It incorporates drama and that all important acerbic Bunny wit. Angels in the Moonlight continues in this vein and, as you would expect from McDonnell, it has you doubled over with laughter while clinging to the edge of your seat. McDonnell continues to totally nail the crime/comedy aspect getting the blend of genres absolutely spot on. We see another layer, however, in Angels in the Moonlight as this is Bunny’s story and McDonnell answers the questions readers of the initial two books had about Bunny. We finally learn about – and meet – Simone; the woman who is often in Bunny’s thoughts in books one and two. Here McDonnell really demonstrates his writing skills as we see a softer side to Bunny, and McDonnell captures the emotions between him and Simone perfectly.
The characters throughout the book are fantastic. McDonnell’s descriptions of them are vivid and he really brings each one to life. I adored the nuns who appear in Angels in the Moonlight they are hilarious. There are always characters you want to see more of in the future in McDonnell’s books and this time, for me, it is definitely the nuns. The dynamics between the characters work wonderfully and ensures that you are completely engaged in the story.
McDonnell manages to make the more tedious aspects of detective work side-splittingly funny ensuring the plot moves along at speed while adding that realistic edge. Once you start Angels in the Moonlight you will find it difficult to drag yourself away from it.
Basically, Angels in the Moonlight is bloody brilliant. McDonnell doesn’t put a foot wrong and I urge everyone to read this (and the other two books if they haven’t already) as it is fantastic. Perfection on a page!
Published on 30 August 2017 by McFori Ink.
You can get your copy here:
About the Author
Caimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats. Born in Limerick and raised in Dublin, he has taken the hop across the water and now calls Manchester his home.
He is a man who wears many hats. As well as being an author, he is an award-winning writer for TV, a stand-up comedian and ‘the voice’ of London Irish rugby club. His debut novel, A Man with One of Those Faces was released in 2016 and it is the first book of the Dublin Trilogy series. The follow-up, The Day That Never Comes was published in 2017. Both books are fast-paced crime thrillers set in Caimh’s home town of Dublin and they are laced with distinctly Irish acerbic wit.
Caimh’s TV writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme, A League of Their Own, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series Pet Squad which he created.
During his time on the British stand-up circuit, Caimh has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He has brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).
Follow Caimh’s witterings on @Caimh
A huge thank you to Caimh McDonnell and Elaine Ofori at McFori Ink for the advance copy and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.
Follow the rest of the tour…