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Authors: John Brady

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Islandbridge

BOOK: Islandbridge
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Praise for John Brady's
MATT MINOGUE series:

A Stone of the Heart

“Towers above the mystery category as AN ELOQUENT, COMPELLING NOVEL . . . a tragic drama involving many characters, each so skillfully realized that one virtually sees and hears them in this extraordinary novel . . .” – P
UBLISHERS
W
EEKLY

“A MASTERFULLY CRAFTED WORK of plot, atmosphere and especially characterization . . . Minogue, thoughtful, clear-eyed and perhaps too sensitive . . . is a full-blooded character built for the long haul of a series . . .” – M
ACLEAN'S

Unholy Ground

“RIVETING . . . The suspense builds to barely bearable intensity . . . crackles with pungent Irish idiom and its vignettes of the country's everyday life.” – T
ORONTO
S
TAR

“Excellent Sergeant Matt Minogue . . . MARVELLOUS DIALOGUE, as nearly surreal as a Magritte postcard the sergeant likes, and a twisting treacherous tale.” – S
UNDAY
T
IMES

Kaddish in Dublin

“MATT MINOGUE, THE MAGNETIC CENTRE OF THIS SUPERB SERIES . . . and Brady's tone of battered lyricism are the music which keep drawing us back to this haunting series.” – N
EW
Y
ORK
T
IMES

“Culchie Colombo with a liberal and urbane heart . . . like all the best detective stories it casts its net widely over its setting . . . [Minogue is] a character who should run and run.” – I
RISH
T
IMES

All Souls

“As lyrical and elegantly styled as the last three . . . A FIRST-RATE STORY WITH MARVELLOUS CHARACTERS . . . Another masterful tale from a superior author.” – G
LOBE AND
M
AIL

“Nothing gets in the way of pace, narrative thrust or intricate story-telling.” – I
RISH
T
IMES

“A KNOCKOUT.” – K
IRKUS
R
EVIEWS

A Carra King
GLOBE AND MAIL TOP 100

“DENSE AND MULTILAYERED . . . a treasure of a crime novel.”
– T
ORONTO
S
TAR

“Brady has a great eye for the telling detail . . . and a lovely slow pace of storytelling. There's much talk and thought events and you can't read this book at warp speed. Instead, save it to savour”
– G
LOBE AND
M
AIL

Wonderland
GLOBE AND MAIL TOP 100

“IF THERE ARE AUTHORS BETTER THAN JOHN BRADY at chronicling the events of modern Ireland, I HAVEN'T YET READ THEM . . . Brady's best so far.” – G
LOBE AND
M
AIL

“ANOTHER SUPERB NOVEL BY A WRITER OF INTERNATIONAL STATURE.” – T
ORONTO
S
TAR

“BRADY'S BEST: informed, subtle and intelligent, with Minogue revealing a hitherto unseen depth of soul, humour and emotion.”
– T
HE
T
IMES
UK

Islandbridge

       
A MATT MINOGUE MYSTERY

JOHN
        
BRADY

Islandbridge

A MATT MINOGUE MYSTERY

McArthur & Company
Toronto

First published in Canada in 2005 by
McArthur & Company
322 King Street West, Suite 402
Toronto, ON M5V 1J2
www.mcarthur-co.com

Copyright © 2005 John Brady

All rights reserved.

The use of any part of this publication reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise stored in a retrieval system, without the expressed written consent of the publisher, is an infringement of the copyright law.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Brady, John, 1955-
Islandbridge : a Matt Minogue mystery / John Brady.

ISBN 1-55278-520-3

I. Title.

PS8553.R245I84 2005       C813'.54       C2005-903711-3

eISBN 978-1-77087-096-3

Cover, Image & Composition by
Mad Dog Design

The publisher would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP) and the Canada Council for our publishing activities. The publisher further wishes to acknowledge the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council for our publishing program.

For Hanna, with love

What thou lovest well remains
The rest is dross
What thou lovest well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lovest best is thy true heritage.
— E
ZRA
P
OUND
,
Canto 81

Contents

A Legend About Islandbridge

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

A Legend About Islandbridge

Islandbridge is an area in inner-city Dublin with
a long past, perhaps even being where the
Vikings first settled in the 800s.

W
HEN THE
V
IKINGS SETTLED
D
UBLIN
, they were being continually harried by chieftains from the nearby hills, and even from north of the settlement in the rich lands of Meath. The native Irish regarded them as barbarians. A Viking who wanted to settle in Dublin decided that marriage would be the solution. He set about finding himself an Irish wife from amongst the families and chieftains that were hostile to the Viking's growing presence. When he found one, he spoke with her father, a man who was reputed to be both wise and unrelenting in battle.

“I will build her the finest home on the whole island of Ireland,” he told the chieftain. “It will be safe from raiders and brigands, because it will be an island itself, in the River Liffey.”

“My daughter is not an island woman,” the chieftain said. “She will find it confining more than reassuring.”

The wooer had foreseen this objection.

“But it will have a bridge to the shore,” said

“Well, if there is a bridge,” the chieftain said, “it can hardly be an island, can it?”

“She can go forth and come back and go as she pleases, amongst her own. It is not my intention that she should be separated from her family and people.”

“You are granting her a freedom that she has by birthright,” said the chieftain. “Who are you to say whether she may come and go?”

At this, the Viking knew he was in a tight spot. Although he had learned many of the customs of the native Irish, he had not reckoned on how the Irish chieftains did not distinguish between the worth of a son and a daughter in their rights.

“She will have the riches of trade,” he said. “Jewels and stones from the East. She will be the envy of all.”

“She, like I, cares nothing for wealth,” said the chieftain. “That is only for display amongst the vulgar classes who would wish to conceal their low character with their baubles.”

The Viking was now in dire straits.

“I know your faith in God,” he said to the chieftain. “I have given you my oath that I will become a Christian like your people.”

“That goes without saying. She will not marry a pagan, or a barbarian.”

Almost at the end of his rope, and seeing the chieftain's brow descending, the Viking came upon an idea. He had heard that, while Christians, the native Irish retained many of the old ways.

“The island I speak of is more than merely a place to live,” he said. “I have been told the secret of the place and how to use it, by a holy man.”

“And what is that?”

“That on the island, time is yours to do as you please. You can go back in time to youth, and the past, or forward in time to foretell what will happen. Of course those who do not live on the island, and who do not know the secret, will never know this and will live their lives as others, and the days and years will tax them with age and death.”

“Are you saying that this island in the river is
Tír na
nÓg
?”

“The holy man told me that it is an entry to that land of the young that your poets speak of, but it has never been known outside a few who guard its secret.”

BOOK: Islandbridge
11.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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