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Borderlands (Inspector Devlin #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  1,898 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
The snow ceased as the assistant state pathologist arrived, black medical bag in hand. I stood by the river as she worked, and watched the sun exploding low over the horizon.

          From the New York Times bestselling author of Little Girl Lost comes a new voice in Irish crime fiction.

          Winter 2002. The corpse of local teenager Angela Cashell is found on the Tyro
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 2nd 2008 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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3.5? 4? Confusion?

You guys ... whimper. Let me be honest; this book was probably/doubtless part of a misguided search for another series like Julia Spencer-Fleming's, which is just a stupid thing to hope for in any way. The odd thing is that there are quite a few parallels, though the effect is so different I won't call them similarities.

The protagonist is a Garda Inspector (although we don't have "chief of police" as a position - rank structure here for your fascinated reading, he's not the bos
BORDERLANDS (Police Proc-Insp. Benedict Devlin-Ireland-Cont) – VG
McGilloway, Brian – 1st in series
Macmillan New Writing, 2007, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780230020061
First Sentence: It was not beyond reason that Angela Cashell’s final resting place should straddle the border.
*** When a body is found on the border between Northern and Southern Ireland, in an area known as the Borderlands, it is the identity of the victim that places the investigation in the hands of Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin. Th
Jul 14, 2016 Myrna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 stars. I don't know why, but for me, this book was reminiscent of a mystery set in the 1940s, like a Philip Kerr book. I had to keep reminding myself that it was set in the early 2000s. I will try the next in the series.
Michael Martz
"Borderlands" is a competent mystery and a promising beginning to Brian McGilloway's 'Inspector Devlin' series. However, there's room for improvement. The plot is well-constructed, the pace is fine, but character development is lacking and the writing is, well, boring.

The story, as we often see, is more complex than initially thought. The body of a young lady is found in the borderland area between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and the police force begins the job of solving the mystery of her d
Mike Gabor
Dec 19, 2012 Mike Gabor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The corpse of local teenager Angela Cashell is found on the Tyrone- Donegal border, between the North and South of Ireland, in an area known as the borderlands. Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin heads the investigation: the only clues are a gold ring placed on the girl's finger and an old photograph, left where she died.

Then another teenager is murdered, and things become further complicated when Devlin unearths a link between the recent killings and the disappearance of a prostitute twenty-five y
Feb 03, 2011 Enikő rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book didn't impress me very much. I started reading it because my sister had taken it out of the library and left it in the car. The quotes on the back cover built it up - way up - but it didn't meet expectations. The story seemed to plod along. I plodded along in its wake. Everything unfolded annoyingly predictably. Nothing to sweep me up and keep me reading in a can't-put-it-down kind of way. I was annoyed at the clichéness of some parts. The car make-out scene? Puh-lease! I guess that HA ...more
May 07, 2009 Sunnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written police procedural is one of the reasons I'm so addicted to crime fiction. A good police procedural will introduce you to the police,take you by the land and lead you through their investigation as they unearth clues by interviewing people, sifting the evidence and following leads. There will be a careful balance of detecting and learning about the lives of the detectives. If the author has done the job properly s/he doesn't deliberately hold back clues or have the the detectives c ...more
Aug 24, 2014 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the second in the Inspector Devlin series, Gallows Lane, first. This is the first in the series, and it would be extremely difficult to summarize the book without giving away huge spoilers. I’ll just say that it involves the investigation into the deaths of several young people, all connected by a ring, a woman who disappeared many years before, financial misdeeds by a politician, possibly the IRA, and some policemen.

Then there’s also something that’s been ripping up Devlin’s neighbor’s s
Val Sanford
I'm captivated by the location--Ireland, and had hoped to be more interested in the characters. The plot is full of twists and surprises, but perhaps it is the frail humanity of Benedict Devlin that unsettled me rather than made me care. His guilt, his sense of failure and his insecurities and unsettling. We expect George Gently, or C.I. Foyle and their slightly righteous approach to police work. Devlin is haunted, more in the lines of Simon Serraillier or Wallender. It's an uncomfortable book b ...more
Oct 02, 2014 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of the Inspector Devlin series. Written by an Irish author, the setting is in the border area of Donegal and Tyrone. Three murders in a short period of time appear to be linked and Ben Devlin is assigned to the case. Although there are twists and turns, the plot is not fast-paced, rather it is realistically paced. I really enjoyed the storyline and loved the introduction of the Irish culture as a part of the plot. I am looking forward to reading the subsequent books in this ser ...more
May 05, 2014 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one more than the second book in the series ("Gallows Lane"). Excellent plot overall. The only serious weakness I spotted was the ridiculous obviousness of Devlin's having made a mistake (although not a fatal one as it turned out) when he told Williams to leave the nursing home and send Harvey in alone. I will probably read more of this series, even though I still don't love Devlin as much as I usually have to love a series detective in order to keep going.
A solid, tough crime book. An exciting local, the border between Ireland and the north, barely used. A simple, not very original, book.
Yves Lefevre
Jul 28, 2013 Yves Lefevre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Very good plot.
Interesting depiction of life in Ireland.
The characters might have been more fully drawn though.
Jul 03, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Will read more and there were a few twists and turns but felt a bit flat in places.
Denise Mullins
Jun 17, 2017 Denise Mullins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Benedict Devlin is an Irish Detective who seems destined to not only face the challenge of solving multiple seemingly unrelated homicides of young adults but-strangely enough- obstructive resistance from the victims’ families. This, coupled with Devlin’s self-deprecating reflections and occasional screw-ups, made it possible for me to empathize and remain engaged with his character.
The author’s no-nonsense tone and ability to be succinct enhanced the suspense; it seems this is often a hallmark
I enjoyed this well crafted novel. It is basically a well laid out police investigation that moves quickly and has its twists and turns. Although I found the characters to be interesting, they are a bit flat in personality.
Susan Gaska
Nov 25, 2016 Susan Gaska rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this. Well written. First in a series. I'll try the next one.
Oct 08, 2016 Leslie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Got bored
Fifteen-year-old Angela Cashell's nearly nude body lay in the brambles by a secluded lane in an area known as “the borderlands” where an invisible line separates the Irish Republic in the south from Northern Ireland. An autopsy reveals she died from a seizure after taking Ecstasy laced with poison. Inspector Benedict Devlin, stationed in Lifford on the southern side of the border where Angela lived, finds himself leading an increasingly complex investigation into the teenager's death. Angela's f ...more
Jul 05, 2012 Janebbooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beth Crowley, a prolific reviewer, and Goodreads friend introduced me to many of my favorite Irish crime writers. Although his novels are hard to find in the US...I particularly enjoyed Brian McGilloway, who writes police procedurals featuring Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin. The setting is in Western Ireland. I'm currently reading BLEED A RIVER DEEP, the third installment of the series, but I started with BORDERLANDS, McGilloway's debut novel.

Here's Beth's review of BORDERLANDS:

4.0 out of 5 st
May 30, 2012 Bridget rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
This is a new series to me, I heard about it from a co-worker. It takes place in Ireland, in an area where the Republic of Ireland is on one side, and Northern Ireland on the other. The main character, Benedict Devlin, is a police inspector in the Republic, who is working on solving the murder of a young girl in the area known as the Borderlands, literally one side of the street being in a different country.

Devlin is quite an interesting character, in and of himself. He is married with two young
R Fontaine
Sep 14, 2016 R Fontaine rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-intrigue
I started the book with great expectations; however the mishmatch of characters, combined with a plot that was just working too hard to find an inspirational thread, caused the air to leak out of the balloon long before the end.
Oct 12, 2013 Cphe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish
This was an engaging and smooth police procedural. When a young girl's body is found on the border between Northern Ireland and the South there is the question of police jurisdiction.

The case comes to Inspector Benedict Devlin and it very soon becomes apparent that there is more to the case then is first suspected. When another body is found it soon becomes apparent that both murders are tied into a woman's sudden disappearance over twenty five years ago. The woman, Mary Knox had ties to both th
Nov 14, 2009 Caitlin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
In the past couple of years there has been a lot of good new crime fiction coming out of Ireland so I was pleased to find even more! Borderlands introduces us to An Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin, working on the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

I like police procedurals and this is a good one made even more interesting to me because of its setting. Borders are interesting places and border towns even more so as the people on each side spill over and influence each oth
Jan 06, 2017 Spuddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a good first entry in a series, introducing us to Benedict Devlin, Garda Inspector at a small rural police station on the border between the two Irelands. When the body of a teenage girl is found literally on the border, the two police groups convene to determine which of them will be the primary investigating force based on several factors, but primarily who the victim is. In this case, it's Angela Cashell, daughter of known ne'er do well Johnny Cashell, which means Ben is the one who 'ca ...more
A. Mary
Aug 04, 2014 A. Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish-novels
I'm going to like this series. Borderlands opens with the discovery of a body on the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The national police forces of both countries decide the case is for the Gardai of the Republic because the dead girl is the daughter of a local drunk. Ben Devlin is the lead investigator, but his cross-border counterpart, Jim Hendry of the PSNI, develops as a kind of Watson or Hastings, something of a partner/sidekick figure. Devlin has a young family, ...more
John Sheridan
Dec 22, 2011 John Sheridan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
An engaging debut that I've had in my TBR list for awhile and I'm glad I finally got round to reading it. I'm usually reluctant to read mysteries set in Ireland (my home country) as I never really manage to bypass the sense that the bodycount in these books would never actually happen in reality so while the murder statistics actually peaked in 2007 at 77 for the whole year for the whole country the fact that the author manages to squeeze in so many (relatively speaking) in such a short period o ...more
Roddy Williams
Jun 12, 2013 Roddy Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
Inspector Benedict Devlin works for the An Garda in the Borderlands, an area of uneasy truce between Northern and Southern Ireland and a place in which the police of both jurisdictions often have to work together, as when, a few days before Christmas, the body of a teenage girl is found dumped on some wasteland behind a local cinema. She is wearing a gold ring inset with a moonstone and diamonds, but little else.
The main suspect appears to a Traveller boy, Whitey McElvey, but when a second murde
Cleo Bannister
Apr 27, 2014 Cleo Bannister rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-crime
I selected this book as I recently reviewed Little Girl Lost which I really enjoyed. I didn't think the story line in this one was quite as good, but that didn't stop it being an enjoyable read.

The story opens with the body of a dead girl being found on the border of Northern Ireland and Eire and so there is a degree of co-operation between the two police forces as they attempt to find the person/people responsible.

There are a number of characters in the book, the main one being Inspector Devlin
Apr 03, 2012 Grammar*Kitten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Borderlands is the first of McGilloway's Inspector Devlin novels - I immediately took a liking to the protagonist, and found myself tearning my way through all of the novels featuring Devlin as fast as possible (not to mention pre-ordering the one that hadn't been released yet!).

Unlike most characters in this type of detective thriller who usually leave me quite apathetic to their plight, McGilloway writes a colourful set of people who I always want to learn more about. I hadn't read much of Ire
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Book's Ending 3 25 Mar 23, 2009 12:50PM  
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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)
  • Gallows Lane (Inspector Devlin, #2)
  • Bleed a River Deep (Inspector Devlin, #3)
  • The Rising (Inspector Devlin, #4)
  • The Nameless Dead (Inspector Devlin, #5)

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