My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Caimh McDonnell is back with another tale of the legendary Bunny McGarry in I Have Sinned. The brawling Irishman made his first appearance in A Man With One of Those Faces, the first book in McDonnell’s Dublin crime trilogy. Bunny’s a temperamental, hard-drinking cop who should definitely be played by Brendan Gleeson in the film. Bunny masquerades as a hard-hearted cynic, but in Dublin, he made time to coach a kiddie football team, so we know his heart can’t be too hard. On the other hand, Bunny has been known to disarm criminals using only a pot of hot coffee, a fork, and his sparkling Irish wit. So we know he’s both genuinely a tough guy and also hilariously entertaining.
In the course of the Dublin series, we learned that Bunny had and lost one great love, an American jazz singer named Simone. For reasons that would give too much away, I can’t tell you how the two lovebirds parted–but part they did, and Bunny’s been carrying a torch for her ever since. When he learns that Simone is in grave danger, he makes his way to New York City to find her, warn her, and (probably) win back her heart.
Bunny arrived in NYC in the first book in the Bunny McGarry Stateside Series, Disaster Inc. , and although he found some new friends, he did not find Simone. Hence the need for Book Two.
Even though Bunny doesn’t disarm anyone using coffee and a fork in I Have Sinned, it’s still a grand rollicking adventure. Bunny’s new American friends, the chronically underemployed actors Smithy and Diller, are on hand to aid Bunny in his quest to find Simone. Attempting to stop Bunny is an order of reclusive nuns known as The Sisters of the Saint, who have been guarding Simone ever since she left Dublin. These are some fantastic kick-ass nuns, with drone technology the U.S. Army only wishes it had. In fact, if nuns had been this kick-ass when I was in Catholic school, I probably would have joined up.
In any event, Bunny and his friends eventually catch up to the Sisters of the Saint, only to be tasked with helping the Sisters protect a do-gooder priest with a mysterious past. Will Bunny succeed in the mission the Sisters have assigned to him? Will they reward him by revealing Simone’s location? And will Sister Zoya share her brilliant drone technology with the military or just sell it to Google Earth for an exorbitant amount of money?
The answers to most of these questions and a few you haven’t even thought of will be found within the highly entertaining pages of I Have Sinned. It’s a great read, but you’d do well to start with Disaster Inc., the first in the Bunny McGarry Stateside series. You might even want to go all the way back to the very beginning and check out A Man With One of Those Faces.
A good read-alike for fans of Mick Herron’s Slow Horses Series or Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty.