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Review: Paul Carson: 'Inquest'



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Paul Carson is the author of five previous medical thrillers, the first of which, Scalpel, published in 1997, was an immediate hit and went to No 1 in the Irish bestsellers' list, as did the subsequent four.

A medical doctor with a busy practice, he has also authored a number of bestselling medical books. Carson's assured and highly entertaining return to the world of crime fiction after an absence of nine years is most welcome. Inquest is an action-packed, pulse-raising thriller, featuring a hugely likeable central character and a well drawn supporting cast.

When pathologist Dr Mike Wilson left his post at a university teaching hospital at the request of the Minister of Justice to take up the job of Dublin City Coroner, he brought to his new post a ferocious work ethic, a naturally suspicious mind and an inability to flinch from taking hard decisions. So when the file on Patrick Dowling, a 28-year-old man from a prominent Dublin business family who had been found hanging in woodlands a year previously, landed on his desk he read it carefully.

The report said Dowling was a hopeless drug addict, alienated from family and friends and possessing a poor life expectancy. But Mike Wilson's suspicious mind sees some glaring inconsistencies in the swiftly arrived at suicide verdict, and when he begins to ask questions, the reaction surprises him.

Everybody – the police, the victim's well connected family and politicians – want him to rubberstamp the previous coroner's report. But Mike is determined to find out the truth, particularly when he discovers the original coroner has been shot dead. As he digs deeper he begins to realise that Dowling's death is inextricably linked to the collapse of the Celtic Tiger economy and Ireland's notorious banking irregularities.

His doggedness brings him on a collision course with a ruthless career criminal who threatens his life and, worse still, those of his wife and two children. To compound his difficulties, there is a traitor in his own office and the integrity of the police has also been compromised.

Another great, thrill-a-page read from Paul Carson. The doctor will scare you now!

Myles McWeeney



Paul Carson

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