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3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  390 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Inspector Martin Aitken's life is a mess. Divorced, his career's in chaos, and the last thing he needs this Christmas Even is a strange woman collapsed on a Dublin street. Ellen Donnelly is a woman on a mission, coming to Ireland to find her mother and escape her unfaithful husband. Dr Milton Amery is a New York plastic surgeon. All three of their roads lead to Inishowen.
Paperback, 480 pages
Published May 3rd 2001 by Vintage (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30)
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Sep 27, 2012 Simon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ireland
I'd had a bad day. The repairs to my bicycle in Ulster had got me to Sligo but then the repairs needed repairing and this was beyond me. The man in the local Halfords was tremendous. He worked for hours and sent me on my way. Just in time to buy bubble bath and a book. I was now about half a day behind schedule and needed a good rest. And then the book kicked in. I loved Star of the Sea, but I liked this one better. Like outranks love! Martin Aitken is one of the best literary detectives of mode ...more
Apr 10, 2012 Annie rated it really liked it
I read this book in a day. I loved Martin's character, Ellen was a bit of a mystery to me and Amery was an asshole who I didn't empathise with at all. A simplistic view maybe but these are the impressions I got from the writing.

O'Connor's sense of humour cuts through the general sadness of the themes in the book very successfully. His political views are refreshingly unromantic and honest. He uses the Irish weather in a manner akin to Wuthering Heights to add to the melodrama.

O'Connor writes e
Sep 07, 2009 Ama rated it liked it
Absorbing but flawed writing. Gripping in its storytelling, but this book has too much weak writing to convince me that O'Connor is a major Irish voice.
Mar 11, 2009 Margaret rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 31, 2011 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drammatici
Il titolo non è granchè, ma O'Connor ci mette dentro tutto l'amore che prova per la sua bella Irlanda, le scogliere sferzate dal vento, la storia travagliata di lotte contro gli anglo. E’ un inno ad un Paese contraddittorio, fatto di gente che il più delle volte non se l’è passata tanto bene, ma che non smette di provare un attaccamento quasi animale per l’isola di smeraldo, vivendone sulla propria pelle i problemi e le loro conseguenze quasi con orgoglio.
Comunque, Ellen alla fine della strada
Aug 15, 2015 Mariele rated it really liked it
This was my first Joseph O’Connor novel. According to the blurb on the book jacket, I expected it to be a crime story, with an Irish cop trying to solve a missing person case in which a rich American tourist has disappeared. I was pleasantly surprised. Joseph O’Connor’s style is not very high-brow, but the story flowed easily and with a very refreshing undercurrent humour. It was well-structured and well-paced. The voices of the two male characters were utterly convincing, and so was their Irish ...more
Jun 30, 2015 Pete rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Standing firmly across the line of great fiction that isn't literary fiction, Inishowen is an entertaining, even engrossing, tale of dissolute middle age, lost love, and longing that takes you deep into the experience of the three characters at its core--an Irish detective, a philandering NYC plastic surgeon, and the wife of the latter, whose return to Ireland to meet the Irish mother who abandoned her long ago is the linchpin of the tale and, perhaps best of all, gives O'Connor the room he need ...more
Elizabeth Quinn
Nov 08, 2010 Elizabeth Quinn rated it really liked it
Martin Aitken is a Dublin police inspector whose marriage and career imploded after the hit-and-run death of his young son. The Christmas Eve 1994 collapse of an unknown woman on a city street provides him a welcome mystery to unravel during his solitary holiday. She turns out to be Ellen Donnelly, Irish born and American bred, whose own life is a shambles as well. The last of the trio of viewpoint characters who narrate Inishowen is Milton Amery, a Manhattan plastic surgeon who is a serial adul ...more
Derek Bridge
I like Joseph O'Connor's work: the pizzazz of his early short stories; the inventiveness and psychological drama in The Salesman; the tenderly-drawn family relationships in Desperadoes; and the historical interest and careful plotting of Star of the Sea.

Inishowen is less successful. The main protagonists are somewhat stereotypical: the work-obsessed cop, with the broken marriage, prepared to bend the rules to get results; and the wife who has everything, including a cheating husband, only a shor
Oct 11, 2012 Luciabo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanzo
Scrittore magico: sa dipingere i dolori dell’anima con una scrittura dura, che commuove, ma nello stesso tempo è capace di creare momenti di leggerezza e di ironia. Un caso fa incontrare Martin, poliziotto irlandese distrutto da sciagure non superate, come la perdita del figlio adolescente ucciso da un pirata della strada e dallo sfacelo della sua vita matrimoniale, ed Ellen che dagli Stati Uniti e da una vita apparentemente appagante scappa per far ritorno nella sua terra d’origine, l’Irlanda, ...more
Stephen Power
Dec 10, 2012 Stephen Power rated it liked it
This was going so well for a long time, but there is a moment of bizarre farce towards the end that doesn't fit in and knocks at least a star off. The characters are mostly well developed, if slightly formulaic, and parts of the book, mostly conversations, are very funny and provide relief from the tragedies in the characters' pasts. Some nice reflections on the troubles in Northern Ireland, and in particular between the pragmatic Dublin Garda's attitude and that of a more idealistic Irish-Ameri ...more
Dec 04, 2012 Far rated it it was ok
The book really starts for me at page 79 when Amery starts to place Christmas gifts under the tree. Its the writing i recognise from Star of the Sea from here on. His description of the pain felt by Detective Aitken's family after the little nippers fatal accident is very moving and similarly Ellen missing her mother, "his mocking mournful ghost would hover around martin aitken, like a fragment of a melody from a childhood summer, only played out of tune, in a minor key" p90
incipit mania

L’antivigilia di Natale del 1994, a mezzogiorno meno dieci, un elettricista fuori servizio di nome Dermot Shouldice fu avvicinato davanti alla stazione degli autobus di Busaras, a Dublino centro-nord, da una donna con i capelli grigi, magrissima, elegante, che lui prese per una svitata.....
La fine della strada
Nov 04, 2008 Alison rated it it was ok
I quite enjoyed this but at the end I looked back on the book and felt disappointed. There were bits of the book that I looked back on and thought "why was that in there" - I'm thinking of the guy who was following Aitken in particular - it all seemed rather unlikely and didn't add any suspense to the story. I just felt the book should have been so much better - it was so nearly there but not quite!
Serjeant Wildgoose
Aug 24, 2011 Serjeant Wildgoose rated it liked it
There were moments when I thought that this book might break the bonds of being a good enough read and become very good indeed, but these were matched by times when it pitched pretty steeply below the bar and into the territory of not very good at all. Sadly the final dozen pages were spent deep in the latter. This could so easily have been 2 stars, but was marginally better than Desperados and so I erred on the grudging side of generosity.
Sep 14, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok
Joseph, Joseph, Joseph... You were doing so well! And then you wrote chapter 32. I honestly thought it was a dream Amery was having. I hoped it was. But when I saw that the ridiculous story of the Lear jet went beyond that chapter the book was ruined for me. I would love to know how you and your editors agreed it was the right way to go with this book! *Baffled*
Ann Trappers
May 19, 2013 Ann Trappers rated it it was ok
Rich and well-written, but no match to Star of the Sea. Although Inishowen is evocative enough, O'Connor fails to create the sort of universe that draws you in and that is the charm of many of his other books.
Aug 03, 2011 Jesus rated it really liked it
O'Connor's a very gifted writer. More funny than sad, and the story's quite sad. I found the ending a bit flat and there are moments that felt a bit trite. But the story was engaging enough, and O'Connor's a masterful teller of the tale. I look forward to reading his other works.
Denise Foley
Jul 22, 2013 Denise Foley rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of Joseph O'Connor, and this was the first and perhaps my favorite of all his books, a touching story of an Irish policeman who lost his son and an American Irish adoptee who is facing a terminal illness and wants to find the mother who gave her up.
Tracey Ellis
Oct 02, 2009 Tracey Ellis is currently reading it
A well written book which provided two interesting main characters. Despite the the serious story line the writer made both the charcters funny and engaging. You really cared what happened to both of them.
Oct 02, 2008 Barry rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A good enough read, but uneven. At times it is gritty, unforgiving, human reality, (e.g. depiction of the flawed character Amery) at times unbelievable comic farce (e.g. the hijinks around landing the Lear-jet).
Feb 12, 2015 Pauline rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I liked the detective but found Ellen annoying. Crazy silly bit of story involving an aeroplane near the end didn't seem to fit the book, but did liven things up a bit.
Aug 18, 2011 Rob rated it really liked it
Extremely powerful and recommended to others, even if you've read Star Of the Sea and think you know O'Connor
Nov 13, 2016 Erika marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Ich habe ein Buch bei registriert!
Expected more

Too much time and nothing ever really developed. Disappointing after investing so much time and hope. Would not recommend. Sorry
Esme rated it really liked it
Mar 11, 2011
Anne Moran
Anne Moran rated it really liked it
Sep 26, 2012
Catherine Lee
Catherine Lee rated it liked it
Jul 16, 2015
Tommy rated it liked it
Apr 11, 2015
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There is more than one author with this name

Joseph O’Connor was born in Dublin. He is the author of the novels Cowboys and Indians (short-listed for the Whitbread Prize), Desperadoes , The Salesman , Inishowen , Star of the Sea and Redemption Falls , as well as a number of bestselling works of non-fiction.

He was recently voted ‘Irish Writer of the Decade’ by the readers of Hot Press magazi
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