Buried (DS Katie Macguire #6), by Graham Masterton

Eight stars

The DS Katie Macguire series has been my summer binge-worthy read of late. Graham Masterton dazzles with this collection of novels that take place in Ireland, with crimes that could only be pulled from the police blotter. Great narrative flow and a strong collection of core characters provide significant entertainment for the reader, as long as they come with an open mind. As I keep pushing through the books, I am constantly amazed at the quality of the writing and the new ideas Masterton provides to keep things fresh and enticing. Masterton has done it again with another thriller that pulls on two time periods.

Detective Sergeant Katie Macguire has been through a great deal in her personal life of late, all of which is simmering on the back burner as she tries to continue working. Crime in Cork does not take a break, with her current case surrounding illegal cigarette sales. The kingpin has quite the layer of protection around him, but DS Macguire hopes to penetrate it and stop the sales quickly.

After a botched arrest leaves one Garda dead and others injured, DS Macguire receives a stern warning to stand down or something drastic might take place, citing her ex-lover, John, as a potential target. While DS Macguire is smart, she also does not take orders from a crime boss and begins plotting her next step.

When John is kidnapped and taken in return for DS Macguire’s sgreement to stop the investigation, the pressure is amped up. A former Garda agrees to go undercover, partially due to a romantic connection to DS Macguire, but also because this may be the only way to bring down a significant criminal in Cork. It will take a task force and all the support of the Garda to make calculating moves and end a brutal hostage taking.

All the while, the bodies of an entire family are unearthed under an old home. The local lore was that the family moved to America over nine decades ago, but their support during the Irish uprising might also have led to their deaths. While there is no way the murderer is still alive, DS Macguire wants the crime solved and a name brought forth to put all to rest. When an ancestor learns of the crimes, he takes matters into his own hands and pulls the past through to the present, with new criminal acts that cannot go unnoticed. Some grudges are simply not buried and left to linger in the mist. Masterton does a wonderful job pulling things together and leaving some new cliffhangers for series fans to enjoy in this piece. I am ready to devour the next novel in short order.

While I have a large ‘To Be Read’ pile, I have been known to take a risk and pull a collection off the middle and hope that the hype that came when it was mentioned to me is still high. Graham Masterton’s DS Katie Macguire series is one of those for me, mixing a strong Irish police procedural with complex characters and crimes that jump off the page. Masterton has proven himself time and again, doing so once more with this novel. His balancing of many plot lines is seamless and leaves the reader hungering for more information about both storylines as the novel progresses.

Masterton has mastered the art of storytelling and puts on a show for his readers herein. The narrative works well and eases between the many crimes taking place, as well as the subplots that work to tell the larger story. Strong character development is at the heart of the novel, building from chunks in past novels, particularly the drama DS Katie Macguire has found herself handling. Masterton layers plot twists throughout and offers climactic revelations just before closing the story. This forces the reader to come back, which is also done easily by the quality of the published tome. His time living in Ireland is apparent, as the story is full of Irish idioms that add depth to an already stellar piece of work. This series is a must read, particularly those who were patient enough to begin with the opening novel. I cannot wait to see where things are headed and how DS Macguire with handle some of the new hurdles put before her.

Kudos, Mr. Masterton, as you make my summer reading experience all throw more enjoyable.