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Dark Dawn (DS O'Neill #1)

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  34 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Belfast. January 2005. Acting Detective Sergeant John O'Neill stands over the body of a dead teenager. The corpse was discovered on the building site of a luxury development overlooking the River Lagan.

Kneecapped then killed, the body bears the hallmarks of a punishment beating. But this is the new Northern Ireland - the Celtic Tiger purrs, the Troubles are over, the para
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 5th 2012 by Corsair
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Matt Kelly
Mar 16, 2012 Matt Kelly rated it liked it
I don't usually read crime fiction, in fact I don't think I've ever read a 'crime' novel in my life, so I didn't know what to expect when I decided to read 'Dark Dawn.' Irish expat and now English lecturer at the University of Western Sydney Matt McGuire has created a highly entertaining first novel set in the 'new' Northern Ireland. I found the language and detail of environment to be both convincing and gripping, and I would definitely read the next in the DS O'Neill series. The characters are ...more
Book Addict Shaun
Sep 18, 2014 Book Addict Shaun rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, 2014
A few months ago I was planning a trip to Belfast or Dublin and rather than seek our your traditional guidebook I went in search of crime fiction set in those cities. One book in particular stood out to me and it was Dark Dawn, upon seeing the cover and reading the blurb my first thought was "this is my kind of book". I immediately downloaded to my Kindle but it's only now that I'm posting the review ahead of my review for the second book, When Sorrows Come next week! I love nothing more than di ...more
Brian Stoddart
Jan 09, 2015 Brian Stoddart rated it it was amazing
Matt McGuire teaches in Sydney but is from Ireland and, like fellow expat Adrian McKinty, captures from afar now the dark days of "The Troubles" and what followed.

With great skill he teases out the hollowness of life in the embattled society that is left, and his lead character deals with it in his own troubled way. A body leads to our man's first case as lead investigator, championed by one superior but targeted for oblivion by another. As time passes the pressure for results mounts, and a shor
Belinda G
Dec 26, 2014 Belinda G rated it it was amazing
Holy shit guys, this book.

Coming off the back of reading The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, I have to say that I preferred Dark Dawn. It was brutal and gritty, with plenty of layers. They aren’t similar in any way, other than that they’re both crime novels, but I preferred Matt’s style.

At first, I really wasn’t sure that I was going to like this book. Straight away, I noticed that the writing style is mainly short, choppy sentences, which I really didn’t like until I got used to them abo
May 17, 2013 Raven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Matt McGuire’s debut crime thriller is definitely worth seeking out, particularly if you like authors such as Stuart Neville or the style of Brian McGilloway. The focus of this tale is Belfast, as McGuire skilfully depicts a city playing catch-up in its regeneration (in comparison to say Liverpool or Newcastle), but just below the surface there lurks the shadow of the Troubles and the less salubrious world of drug dealers, financial corruption and vigilantism. From the opening image of a young m ...more
May 13, 2013 Robin rated it really liked it

The Irish crime fiction scene continues to surprise and impress with the arrival of Matt McGuire's debut novel. Dark Dawn is the first to feature Detective Sergeant John O'Neill of Belfast and McGuire does two things extremely well. He produces a gallery of sharply drawn characters – police, villains, lowlifes and civilians – and evokes Belfast emerging from the Troubles so well that you feel as though you know the place personally.

DS O'Neill is 34 but you wouldn't put him a day under 40. We mee
Christine Blachford
Nov 10, 2012 Christine Blachford rated it really liked it
It’s been a while since I read a proper crime book, these are the type that I would devour as they were handed to be from all different sources. Since I have a book list to get through, and the entire Kindle library has opened up to me, crime has fallen off my radar a little bit. I’m not sure where I picked this one up from, a sale or a promotion of some sort, but after just the first few pages I was hooked.

What’s good about it is the protagonist is not your traditional detective. There are exce
Oct 19, 2013 CrimeThrillerGirl rated it really liked it
McGuire’s debut is slick and fast paced.

A police procedural told from several point-of-views, it shows not only the world DS O’Neill inhabits, but also that of the old and new generations and the changing face and frictions within the crime world.

The story grabbed me right from the opening chapter. O’Neill, a man with an unhappy past and a Chief Inspector out for his blood, is given the lead on a case which no one seems to care about, to solve the murder of a person who they can’t identify. With
Jan 05, 2013 Iwan rated it liked it
There is much to like about this book and in the main I enjoyed it, the storyline has interest and is gritty enough to have an element of realism, there are some interesting characters in the book , namely Lynch and Ward , The main character O'Neill has the basis of a decent character but strangely he s not the most interesting in the book.

There are a couple of major flaws in the book for me , firstly O'Neill is portrayed as a cynical, emotionally drained and possibly damaged police officer , we
Jan 16, 2014 Sk rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-deals
Solider Krimi. Klischeehafte Figuren: der Polizist mit Ehe- und Alkoholproblem, der väterliche Vorgesetzte, der Vorgesetzte des Vorgesetzten, der natürlich kein "echter" Polizist ist, sondern ein Bürokrat, der es aus irgendwelchen Gründen auf den Polizisten abgesehen hat.
Also gängige Kost, nicht besonders gut, nicht besonders schlecht. Interessant hingegen war das nordirische Setting in Belfast mit seinen Konsequenzen und politischen Fronten aus der Zeit der "Troubles". Auch gut: die Beschreibun
Jan 30, 2016 Weebly added it
A good first detective novel from the author. Set in Belfast in 2005. Quite dark in places.
Sep 16, 2014 Jack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A crime thriller set in Belfast, with the legacy of the Troubles influencing events. Interesting plot, but it seemed to lose its way a bit
Aug 15, 2014 Shaza added it
Shelves: 2014
Sometimes it is just too difficult and problematic to rate a book...this is clearly one of those times.
Jun 27, 2012 Carrie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: norn-iron
Very good - especially on contemporary Belfast. Impressive debut.
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Matthew McGuire was born in Belfast and is a lecturer at the University of Glasgow. He has published widely on both Irish and Scottish literature.
More about Matt McGuire...

Other Books in the Series

DS O'Neill (2 books)
  • When Sorrows Come

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