Welcome to The Irish Inheritance blog tour!
About the book
June 8, 1921. Ireland.
A British Officer is shot dead on a remote hillside south of Dublin.
November 22, 2015. United Kingdom.
Former police detective, Jayne Sinclair, now working as a genealogical investigator, receives a phone call from an adopted American billionaire asking her to discover the identity of his real father.
How are the two events linked?
Jayne Sinclair has only three clues to help her: a photocopied birth certificate, a stolen book and an old photograph. And it soon becomes apparent somebody else is on the trail of the mystery. A killer who will stop at nothing to prevent Jayne discovering the secret hidden in the past.
The Irish Inheritance takes us through the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish War of Independence, combining a search for the truth of the past with all the tension of a modern-day thriller.
It is the first in a series of novels featuring Jayne Sinclair, genealogical detective.
The Irish Inheritance is definitely an interesting plot line, combining a mystery thriller with a genealogical investigation to provide a dying man with answers about his heritage.
The story opens in 1922, where we are transported to the remote countryside of Ireland and the killing of a British officer. The timeline then shifts to 2015 and we meet Jayne Sinclair, recently retired from the police force following the death of her partner and now specialising in difficult genealogical research. It is the funeral of her sister-in-law when she is contacted by an abrupt American, Richard Hughes requesting her attendance at a hotel that evening to discuss a research project.
The research is for Richard’s elderly Uncle, John, a wealthy successful business man who has everything he needs in life – other than the answer as to where he came from. To add to the challenge, John is suffering from leukaemia and only has a short time left to find out who he is and who his Father was.
There isn’t much to go on as John was adopted from a young age and therefore has no memories of his time with his biological family, but Jayne is determined to give the old man his dying wish – however there is someone very desperate to stop her and will go to any lengths to prevent the truth coming out.
Given the nature of The Irish Inheritance the book shifts between present day and the 1920’s however this is managed well, there wasn’t any points where I felt that I didn’t know what was happening or which time period we were in. The narrative of this book flows exceptionally well and the characters are very believable and likeable. From the outset Jayne’s passion for genealogy is evident as is John’s despair and confusion as to where he has come from.
Whilst I may not have ordinarily have chosen this book myself based on its genealoical subject (not a fan of family history!) however I was intrigued by this and, after enjoying The City of Shadows, I am familiar with Lee’s writing style and knew it would not let me down. This is very different in subject from the previous book that I have read, The City of Shadows however his style remains the same with his fantastic ability to bring strands together to explain the fuller picture. I am so glad that I gave it a chance because the genealogical side is a really interesting way of approaching a mystery thriller and I look forward to more from Jayne Sinclair!
About the author
Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
Whilst working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarter of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in 1920s and 30s.
When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.