The Daily Telegraph listed the northern Irish author Colin Bateman among their top 50 crime writers. Colin has written books for both adults and children alike.
The main character of the `Turbulent Priests` is a guy called Dan Sharkey, who appears on more than one of his books. Dan is a fictitious Belfast journalist who is a child in the guise of a man. Dan has an interesting philosophy on life, he loves to be wicked and above all he loves a good drink, if not `needs` a good drink!
This book was my first experience of Colin Batemans literary style and it wont be my last. I have to say that I came by the book courtesy of the British Heart Foundation for the princely sum of £2, but it ended up being money well spent. Not that you would ever have guessed it from reading `Turbulent Priests`, but the brilliant yet mysterious character Dan Starkey appears in some other books written by Colin Bateman.
The story is centred around a quiet yet very beautiful Irish Island which actually exists and is called Raithlin, but in the book the Island is referred to as Wraithlin, hardly a brilliant cover up!
Dan Sharkey has heard some gossip, whether it has any foundation is anyone's guess! But Dan is dark, mean, keen and extremely quick witted and just loves a challenge. Eventually Dan is offered a job by the Catholic Primate of All Ireland to set off and investigate whether these rumours are true.
So he up sticks and takes off with his wife Patricia and their baby in tow and heads for Wraithlin Island where they have seemingly had the `Second coming`, not only have they had the new Messiah arrive on the Island but instead of a `He` it is a `She`!
Dan is feeling a little bit unsettled at the thought of spending any length of time on Wraithlin, the island is full of Catholics and Dan is a protestant.
The words drink and Dan go hand in hand so the thought of running dry sends Dan into a cold sweat...
The title of the book automatically leads to to assume there is a religious link there somewhere, but nothing deep and meaningful comes from reading the pages, agreed Dan moves in the same circles as the Holy but that's as far as it goes.
Dan is as acid as hell, if sarcasm is the lowest form of human with then Dan cant go any lower!
He is often not given to using ten words when two will do, but it is the way that he delivers them, he is sharp as a knife and as quick as a bullet. I'm not even convinced that it should have been classed as a crime thriller, it seems to contain more laughs than anything else. Concentration is the key word as the story twists and turns and as Dan and Co set foot on Wraithlin they discover that the Island prohibits alcohol!! That's the point where emotions run high, both Dans and yours!
Dan is challenged to the limit during his stay on Wraithlin, he has to constantly think on his feet and often is so self opinionated it drives you insane!
For me the star feature was the black humour, I love satire at the best of times and this book is a brilliant example. As the plot unfolds the more chaotic Dan becomes and the faster you want to turn the pages to keep up with all of his antics.
Dan is a class act to follow and lol how I pity his wife!! Keep an eye out for Christine, a wonderful portrayal.
But if you like suspense, intrigue, a fast moving story and some total insanity and darkness then maybe this is the one for you!
Turbulent Priests is available on the Amazon website and is on offer for 1p + £2.75 post and packaging.
Dan Starkey investigates the birth of a new Messiah on a small island off the coast of Ireland. Back together with his wife Patricia and the baby -- Little Stevie -- that resulted from her affair, Dan accepts a curious commission from Cardinal Daley to investigate the tiny island of Wrathlin, where the inhabitants appear to believe that the new Messiah has been born. The child in question turns out to be a girl called Christine, and the local population has become as defensive and generally crazy as the cast of The Crucible. At first it's just funny for Dan and Trish, but fairly soon the mood turns very much darker. Packed with Bateman's trademarket mixture of jokes, shocks and tenderness, Turbulent Priests is his best novel yet.