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Bleed a River Deep (Inspector Devlin #3)

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  401 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
When a controversial US diplomat is attacked during the opening of a Donegal gold mine, Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin is disciplined for the lapse in security. The gunman turns out to be a young environmentalist - related to an old friend of Devlin's. Within days, the killing of an illegal immigrant near the Irish border leads Devlin to a vicious people-smuggling ring. T ...more
Hardcover, 297 pages
Published April 3rd 2009 by MacMillan (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 715)
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Apr 12, 2011 Maddy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
PROTAGONIST: Inspector Benedict Devlin
SETTING: Ireland
SERIES: #3 of 3

It’s hard to imagine that there might be gold in Ireland, but the fact that a man named Ted Coyle found a nugget in the area outside Donegal has sparked a modern-day gold rush. At the same time, a local company owned by John Weston is opening a gold mine. Their figures indicate that the vein is a rich one; profitability is sky high. The opening of the mine is attended by a US senator, Cathal Hagan, who is an old fri
Jan 12, 2015 Joe rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is the third adventure of Benedict “Ben” Devlin – a Garda detective inspector, stationed and residing on the “borderlands’ of Ireland. In the previous two books – as in this one – Ben juggles a multitude of cases that all “tie together” at the end. Here Ben attempts to make sense of an assassination attempt of a US Senator, a feeble but deadly bank robbery attempt, a break-in at a defense plant, illegal immigration, a fraudulent “gold-mine” and a mysterious and potentially very dangerous ec ...more
Jun 13, 2011 Camilla rated it it was ok
Can't decide if I liked this book or want to read more in this series. I have the next one, so i'll give it a go. The writing was unadorned, which I like, but occasionally drifted towards flat and, even, boring.
A. Mary
Aug 13, 2014 A. Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: irish-novels
In this third Devlin mystery, McGilloway incorporates environmental issues, American foreign policy, human trafficking, local gang activity, and--of course--murder. He makes use of real issues affecting local people, making Devlin part of a living community. He becomes personally invested in the case of an illegal immigrant, literally bringing the problem into his own house, plus, one of the players in the murder case is a childhood friend. There's nothing extraordinary about Benedict Devlin, an ...more
May 12, 2014 Joan rated it liked it
This is the third book in the series and the third one that I've read. There is much to recommend them, but I just cannot "get into" Ben Devlin in the same way that I'm into Alan Banks, Reg Wexford, Andy Dalziel, Peter Pascoe, John Rebus, Tommy Lynley, Endeavour Morse, Ruth Galloway (see, they're not all men), ... you get the idea. I find myself getting annoyed every time I'm reminded that Devlin goes to mass on Sundays and has a stay-at-home wife. But he also seems to make lot of mistakes and g ...more
May 08, 2011 Jessica rated it it was ok
I'm not a reader of crime fiction, and I picked this up because it was recommended to me by the NoveList (readers advisory) database and was recently published. I had many preconceived notions of crime fiction, but I didn't think that boring was one of its attributes! I just couldn't get into Bleed a River Deep, and none of the characters felt well-developed or compelling to me. The protagonist of this book, Inspector Devlin, felt flat--he didn't seem to have much dimension or internal struggle, ...more
Jun 04, 2014 zenbren rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
I enjoy crime fiction and this book doesn't disappoint. The environmental and archeological based storyline works well although some of the characterisations are a little weak. The relationships within the Inspectors family are always delightful cameos i which offsetting darkness of murder and crime which permeate McGilloways work.
Dec 05, 2010 Harvey rated it liked it
Relatively slow-moving but well plotted police procedural. This is part of a series (#3?) featuring Ben Devlin. He's sort of a renegade cop who goes his own way in cases despite orders from stupid/corrupt/etc superiors.

The setting, the remote border country between Ireland and No. Ireland is interesting and presents issues in cross-border crime and logistics coordination between the police forces.

Here there also is a "political" element as an Irish-american US Senator and local corporate-types m
May 23, 2014 Judie rated it it was ok
I read the previous two books in this series and enjoyed them but now the books are becoming formulaic. Devlin hasn't progressed and the story is so predictable. Moving on to another series.
Enjoyed less that the previous one of his I read, partly I think because there felt to be one plot strand too many and partly because, not for the first time, I feel that the character of Benedict Devlin needs to be more much more deeply explored. He seemed to feel too little about the death of a colleague, his killing of a suspect.
While the tying up of the ends was unsatisfactory - for Devlin - it was refreshing not to have everything tidy at the finish.
It also jarred to have him repeatedly re
Mar 14, 2015 Carole rated it it was amazing
Great book, really enjoying this author. Doesn't get maudlin or too horrific.
Jul 09, 2014 Danielle rated it it was amazing
I enjoy this series immensely. The Irish setting appeals to me and the author is a good storyteller. The only criticism I have is that so many characters are named Peter. There's three or four in each book. Is Peter really that popular a name in Ireland?
Jun 26, 2013 Lela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this author and enjoyed the book but didn't feel it was up to earlier books' standards. There were some surprises but really not much mystery. There was one character introduced that I am sure we will hear from, again. One thing I always like is the interaction between Devlin and his wife. They are so obviously in love and have a good marriage. Most books in this genre have the police person in a bad or troubled marriage. Refreshing difference! I will continue to read McGilloway's books e ...more
Dec 01, 2015 Pam rated it really liked it
Good book. Love inspector Devlin. Onto #4
Sep 16, 2015 Lynne added it
Good book
May 28, 2014 Sandra rated it really liked it
Excellent read.
Mar 06, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, irish
A new series for me, set in Ireland, with a Garda inspector as the main character. Inspector Ben Devlin is assigned to guard a former US Senator visiting Ireland on a goodwill-type mission. When the brother of an old friend stages a "protest" by shooting at the Senator with a starter's pistol, Devlin is blamed. He quickly finds himself investigating human trafficking, smuggling, and possibly a serious environmental hazard connected with an Irish-American mining venture.

Dennis Fischman
Jan 11, 2013 Dennis Fischman rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Picked this one up at random in the Somerville Public Library, and I'm glad I did. It's really sort of a 3-1/2 star book. The whodunit element is not that strong, but two other elements are: the insight into social issues like human trafficking, and the character of Inspector Ben Devlin. He may be a cop, but he's just a regular guy with a wife, kids, and morals, trying to do what's right and sometimes making things worse in the process, but never quitting.
Jan 03, 2014 Grace rated it liked it
Enjoyable police procedural. McGilloway always makes his readers think twice about the "blessing" of the Celtic Tiger, and this is no exception. Characters were believable and I did not guess the ending (at least, mostly). Snowpocalypse 2014 plus in bed with a cold, so I finished it in 2 days.
Yves Lefevre
Aug 23, 2013 Yves Lefevre rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 09, 2009 ricoeurian rated it liked it
Superb third volume of the Benedict Devlin series of crime novels, set in the borderlands between southern and nothern Ireland. Environment protestors clash with a war mongering US senator on Devlin's turf, and eastern European illegal immigrants get tangled up in the whole thing. The character development is central here, but the mystery and action are top notch too.
Jason Brennan
Oct 08, 2010 Jason Brennan rated it it was ok
Not as good as McGilloway's earlier books - the plot felt flimsy and the American businessmen and gold mining crusties on which the plot hinges were too thinly drawn - almost transparent. Also lead character Inspector Devlin was too passive here here to be convincing as a cop. A disappointing outing from one of the most promising new Irish crime writers.
Oct 06, 2010 Patricia rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
The third and latest entry in a new series I recently discovered. I like McGilloway - his main character, Benedict Devlin, reminds me of a small town Irish version of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, if such a thing is possible! Good writing, believable characters and thoroughly entertaining.
Feb 12, 2011 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-written book with interesting characters, this book is more than a mystery. It has elements of intrigue, suspense, romance and great conflict. It is a must-read especially for those who have been to Ireland and will recognise many of the names mentioned from there.
Aug 26, 2012 GlenK rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
An atmospheric and tightly plotted police thriller involving Garda Inspector Devlin. Of this one - third in the series - I especially liked the look it gave of Devlin's home life. Given his profession, his marriage and family relations are happy and functional.

Ian Young
Continuation of a very fine detective series set on the border between Donegal and Derry. Strong plot, good character development, and an excellent read. Highly recommmended - though maybe better to start at book 1!
Feb 25, 2011 Becky rated it it was ok
Maybe I was too distracted while I read this book, but by the end I was still not sure who all the characters were. Even so, I might still read the next one in the series because I like the main character.
Catherine Woodman
Good series--a few too many deaths, more than seem necessary, but a competent murder mystery--set in Ireland, which is a plus.
Sep 02, 2010 Magnus rated it it was amazing
Brilliant as usual from Brian McGilloway. Devlin becomes more rounded with each book.
Jan 06, 2011 Joe rated it really liked it
My favourite of the Ben Devlin novels, fast paced and interesting storyline.
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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)
  • The Rising (Inspector Devlin, #4)
  • The Nameless Dead (Inspector Devlin, #5)

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