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The Nameless Dead (Inspector Devlin #5)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  404 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
'You can't investigate the baby, Inspector. It's the law.' Declan Cleary's body has never been found, but everyone believes he was killed for informing on a friend over thirty years ago. Now the Commission for Location of Victims' Remains is following a tip-off that he was buried on the small isle of Islandmore, in the middle of the River Foyle. Instead, the dig uncovers a ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Pan Publishing
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(showing 1-30 of 698)
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Declan Cleary disappeared30 years ago and everyone assumed that he was killed because he informed on a friend. Then Commission for Location of Victims' Remains gets a tip that Declan Cleary's body is buried on the small isle of Islandmore in the river Foyle. But instead they find the body of baby and it seems that the baby didn't die of natural causes, but any evidence that is revealed by theThen Commission for Location of Victims' Remains can not lead to prosecution and Inspector Ben Devlin is ...more
Rob Kitchin
Dec 28, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Nameless Dead is the fifth instalment of McGilloway’s Ben Devlin series. McGilloway has the full measure of Devlin’s world - his family, police politics and rivalries, his embedding in the social and criminal landscape of the border. The writing is very assured, with a lovely cadence and pace, and nicely balances plot, characterization, sense of place and contextualisation. With respect to the latter two, The Nameless Dead skilfully weaves together the troubles and sexual politics of the 197 ...more
This is a 4 and a half star book. The story is set on an island, Islandmore, in the middle of the Foyle River between Donegal and Derry. Workers are excavating an area seeking a victim of disappearances during the Troubles, and discover the skeleton of a baby. Inspector Devlin, who works in Donegal, is like a dog with a bone. The Commission for Location of Victims' Remains (related to people who disappeared during the Troubles) does not permit any evidence from excavations to be turned over to a ...more
Apr 29, 2015 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

This is the second Inspector Devlin book I have read and I think I liked it more than the first one. Mr. McGilloway is extremely talented in the art of writing a thriller with endings that aren't easily figured out. He throws in so many extra things that it's hard to follow the trail of the killer(s). You think you know what is going to happen or who did what, but it turns out you are completely wrong. His stori
Nov 06, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fifth book in the Inspector Devlin; the reader is familiar with the main characters and the writer is relaxed with his creation.
Brian McGilloway's writing is economic. Punchy descriptions and dialogue.
This is a terrific plot that does justice to the cross boarder conflicts and life after the troubles but is routed in events of the past. BM very skillfully keeps it contemporary; many would draw on a the writer's go to - the slowly revealed past as a separate story unfolding with the main narr
First read: 19-25 December 2012
Second read: 15 October 2013

Brian McGilloway's books are always entertaining, but more importantly for me, they give the reader so much to think about. He weaves his research effortlessly into the narrative. I particularly loved the way he considered the legal implications of the promise of confidentiality in the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains - if a crime clearly not related to the Disappeared is uncovered during the commission's invest
Jul 01, 2014 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading this Benedict Devlin series, but something about it has bothered me the whole time. I think it's Devlin's family; I don't like his wife and kids for some reason.

The wife and kids were the only downside to this book. The story is compelling, and the other characters are great. Even the Catholicism didn't bother me (which is surprising, because it usually does).
I liked the mystery and I've always liked Benedict Devlin. What annoys me increasingly in each book is the Inspector's wife. At first she was mostly supportive and understanding. She gets more harpy-like in each book. This isn't just in McGilloway's books, many books featuring a male detective/sleuth have the dubious subplot of 'trouble at home' aka 'you missed dinner again and aren't spending time with the kids.' Lady, you married a homicide detective. If you thought he'd be home for dinner eve ...more
Mallory Heart Reviews
Review: THE NAMELESS DEAD by Brian McGilloway [Inspector Devlin #5]

Compelling, enlightening, and heartwrenching, THE NAMELESS DEAD reawakening the ugliness if the centuries-old battles between Northern Ireland and the English national government, and between Northern Ireland and the Irish Repblic. The Commission for Location of Victims' Remains is tasked with finding all remains of The Disappeared, and returning those remains to the loved ones for proper interment. Such is the extent of the Comm
Apr 12, 2015 Marissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kindle Copy for Review

In book five in the series, we find Inspector Devlin spending more time with his family as Penny recovers from her accident. Realizing the importance of family after almost losing his daughter, he tries to be there for family dinners.

When a tip about a missing person thirty years ago, uncovers the body and that of a baby girl that suffered from being hit in the head are also found. Things are not as simple as to its connection. A baby girl with no name forces him and his wi
Sep 23, 2014 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The crime fiction authors of Ireland--both the Republic and the six counties in the UK--and Scandinavia both seem to specialize in dark, nihilistic fiction with emotionally wounded protagonists trying to enforce the law in morally adrift societies. Many of the books, including "The Nameless Dead" are formally police procedurals featuring forensics, witness statements, crime scenes and door to door canvassing, but at the their core they reflect the collapse of traditional social, political, moral ...more
Mar 29, 2014 Marleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The disappeared:
“Individuals who, during the early days of the Troubles in the North, had been targeted because of some slight, imagined or actual, against the local IRA commanders.”

This book is the fifth title in a series in which I haven’t read any of the previous stories. Although I didn’t feel that affected the way I experienced this book it is of course possible that my review would have been slightly different if I had read the book after the previous four.

This book has a lot going on bet
3.5 stars

Book #5 in the Ben Devlin series continues the author's theme of combining present day police investigations in the Republic of Ireland with past events tied to The Troubles.
They are called "the Disappeared", men who went missing during Ireland's bloody sectarian war & were never found. A commission was set up asking for anonymous tips as to the location of their graves so they might be recovered & provide closure for loved ones. To encourage people to come forward, there is a
Mike Gabor
Apr 18, 2014 Mike Gabor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-mystery
Declan Cleary's body has never been found, but everyone believes he was killed for informing on a friend over thirty years ago. The Commission For Location Of Victims Remains is digging on a deserted island after receiving a tip that he is buried there. While looking for his remains they also unearth the remains of a baby. DI Ben Devlin is present when this happens but according to law no one can be prosecuted for any crimes committed against any victims unearthed by the Commission.
A. Mary
Aug 13, 2014 A. Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish-novels
Devlin #5 has a bit more teeth than previous cases. Here, McGilloway makes use of the complicated matter of the disappeared, people presumed killed by paramilitary groups during the Troubles, but whose bodies have never been found. He handily weaves that issue with the one of unbaptized babies, whose bodies were refused burial in consecrated ground. In The Nameless Dead, the title refers to both the disappeared and the unbaptized because the secluded burial ground for the babies seems to be have ...more
Aug 05, 2012 Raven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
`The Nameless Dead' opens with the continuing search for `The Disappeared' ( the undiscovered bodies of those informers etc who have died during `The Troubles') on a small island midway between the North and South and formerly associated with cross border smuggling. Whilst the search revolves around uncovering the body of a certain Declan Cleary, a number of corpses are found linked to a former mother and baby home on the mainland, all displaying signs of physical deformities and having appeared ...more
Oct 12, 2013 Cphe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish
This is a fairly seamless and straight forward police procedural. It deals with "The Disappeared", informers or touts who have been executed and their remains never disclosed from the time of Irish Troubles. It is during the search for the remains of informer Declan Cleary, who is one of the Disappeared that the remains of seven babies are found. Due to government red tape, it is very doubtful if the perpetrators will ever be bought to justice.

The main character Ben Devlin is torn between what i
Oct 19, 2013 CrimeThrillerGirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compared to the majority of police procedurals that I read, what struck me most about this story was the action-packed, fast paced style. Despite the tip-off that Inspector Devlin is following being about a murder conducted over thirty years previously, the story feels immediate and pacy right from the start. As the plot unfolds, and Devlin starts to uncover the many activities – both within and outside of the law – that Declan Cleary was connected to, he realises that this was not the straight- ...more
Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
I liked this book. The bits about jurisdictional constraints that limit how cops can handle investigations along the Ireland/Northern Ireland border were interesting, and how the excavations to find the Missing, as part of a reconciliation effort, cannot be used in any way to prosecute anyone for any crime, even for more recent murders. I did wish the story had dealt more with the crime of testing potentially harmful drugs on institutionalized pregnant women, as this was the central crime that r ...more
Mar 14, 2015 Carole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't provide spoilers in my book reviews but can say this is a good read... story line wanders around a bit because the main crime was so many years ago. Sometimes feels like I should have a genealogy tree at hand in order to keep track of major players but that is not only true of this book but others by this author. Anxious to read the next book by this Irishman.
Denise Mitchell
Jun 28, 2016 Denise Mitchell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful mystery and setting

I found the characters very engaging and real. The plot was exciting and intriguing with a number of excellent twists. I enjoyed the Irish setting and learning more about Ireland's history and relationships with the North. I look forward to reading another book by this author.
Aug 21, 2012 Grammar*Kitten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The eagerly awaited latest instalment of the Inspector Devlin series sees the dogged detective embroiled once again in conspiracy; digging for a body on an island (once used for burying babies who died before they had been sanctified) for the victim of a cold case, Devlin uncovers more bodies than he had counted for, a number of which all seem to have suffered the same genetic disorder. He becomes caught up in a tangled web of child trafficking, the results of a long-closed expectant mothers’ ho ...more
Jun 04, 2014 zenbren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I was a little dubious about reading this book because of the subject matter-- Northern Ireland's disappeared. I was pleasantly surprised by the author's unique and refreshing twist to this grim period in history. He keeps the reader guessing and leads one down a number of paths before the final reveal.
Wilde Sky
Police searching for a murder victim uncover the bodies of a number of children.

There were some good ideas in this book, but the pace was too slow and there too many asides. If this book had been edited, removing a third of its length, it would have probably been a much better book.
Patricia Fawcett
This latest book in the Ben Devlin series reveals excellent, up-to-the-minute research on the part of the author into the latest forensic techniques. This underpins a strong, credible story line, which ties in the ongoing search for 'The Disappeared' on both sides of the Irish border with other local, historic events in the Derry-Donegal border area. The narrative also throws light on Ben Devlin's family life, with current family dilemmas in bringing up children against a backgound where the pot ...more
Nov 09, 2014 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really love this author. His characters are real, human and flawed. His plots twist and turn just enough to be interesting, but not so much as to cause confusion. Not only this, but there is enough Irish history involved to keep my finicky taste satisfied-a tall order.
Celia Barry
Dec 07, 2015 Celia Barry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this series a lot. Issues between Northern Ireland and Ireland, the "troubles" and present day all come together in the search for a killer.
nikkia authement
Mar 11, 2015 nikkia authement rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelwiss
Love series that feel like I'm visiting old friends. Another great mystery in Ireland, I wish it were possible for me to see the place in this book. I'll settle for reading the only series I really like set there.
kathy fagle
Mar 02, 2015 kathy fagle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Love the setting and characters. I like the series to see the changes and scenery. The kids are becoming brats
Jun 01, 2016 Trena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love these books . Twists and turns everywhere, good the bad and the plain ugly. Not everything is black and white.
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Brian McGilloway is an author hailing from Derry, Northern Ireland. He studied English at Queens University Belfast, where he was very active in student theatre, winning a prestigious national Irish Student Drama Association award for theatrical lighting design in 1996. He is currently Head of English at St. Columb's College, Derry. McGilloway's debut novel was a crime thriller called Borderlands. ...more
More about Brian McGilloway...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Devlin (5 books)
  • Borderlands (Inspector Devlin, #1)
  • Gallows Lane (Inspector Devlin, #2)
  • Bleed a River Deep (Inspector Devlin, #3)
  • The Rising (Inspector Devlin, #4)

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