the price of MAKING A FAST BUCK
Karen Riney is an intelligent young woman, a budding entrepreneur whose life has been turned upside down by a personal tragedy.
Back in post-financial meltdown Ireland after several years abroad, she hits on an idea to make fast money.
In the depths of a recession, there is no business as profitable as the growhouse business. It is, of course, illegal to cultivate cannabis, but Karen reckons the chances of being caught are small and worth the risk.
To get her venture off the ground, she will need some financial assistance. In her naivety, she wrangles an introduction to Paschal Nix, a ruthless and violent west Dublin criminal with a well deserved fearsome reputation.
When Karen explains the economics of the business, Nix decides to invest but, to Karen's consternation, insists on throwing in the services of three of his associates to keep an eye on her.
Kevin Wyman is an out-of-work builder, a family man burned by the crash and in hock to Nix. Dara Burns is a stone-cold assassin, a contract killer for Dublin gangs, reluctantly drawn into Nix's criminal activities. Charlie Small is Nix's grossly overweight enforcer who uses a wheel brace to beat clients slow in meeting their debt repayments.
As Karen's first crop of cannabis nears harvest, everything rapidly begins to spiral out of control, and she realises too late that when you walk on the wild side, there is no such thing as easy money.
This is author and journalist Michael Clifford's second crime novel, a cracking thriller delivering a fascinating insight into a burgeoning criminal enterprise, and the casual attitude towards violence and murder exhibited by some of the abhorrent, but well-drawn characters mirrors the almost daily gangland tabloid headlines. Strong stuff.