Whatever It Takes, my second novel, was published on the 5th of August, 2020 by the Mercier Press and is the 2020 One City, One Book choice for Cork. Here’s an article about winning that award.
The book tells the story of Detective Garda Collins, who is based in Cork city. Collins is at war with the leading local criminal, Dominic Molloy (‘The Dom’).
Unlike his colleagues, Collins is not willing to accept the human degradation caused by Molloy’s drugs, violence and prostitution. A famous former inter-county hurler, he hates to lose. He has made up his mind to bring Molloy down, but just how far is he willing to go to make that happen? What is he willing to do and what fall-out will ensue for himself and his garda colleagues?
This tense crime novel (the first in a series featuring Collins) tells the story of two immovable forces colliding. Something has to give. Running out of time before the murder of two teenagers becomes inevitable, and with a traitor in the garda station feeding information back to Molloy, Collins takes his battle to new heights. He is determined to win, whatever the cost, whatever it takes.
Collins is the central character and he is sometimes difficult, sometimes violent and often ruthless. He justifies his actions by the hardship and suffering caused by criminal violence, prostitution and drug trafficking – in particular when it affects the family of a friend and former teammate. He is also obsessed by Molloy, whom he has a desperate need to bring down. Whatever It Takes depicts a dark realism and shows the battles of will and intelligence that go on in the world of crime and policing.
The book is written in the third person from multiple points of view. Other prominent characters include Molloy and some of his gang. Collins’s partner is June Carroll and she features strongly along with other gardaí. Other characters are the victims of the crimes that Collins is trying to prevent – I won’t say much about them as it would involve spoilers.
The book has a strong sense of place, as so much good crime writing does.
I began writing this book several years ago, but was interrupted by The First Sunday in September, which came out in 2018. I’m delighted it is now to be published. Many thanks to the Mercier Press, especially Deirdre Roberts, who commissioned it. Thanks to Patrick O’Donoghue for the support and Wendy Logue for bringing the work to fruition. Thanks to Sarah O’Flaherty for the wonderful cover – I love it as it really captures the atmosphere of the text. A special thanks to my editor Noel O’Regan – it’s been such privilege to work with Noel again.
Catherine Kirwan, author of Darkest Truth, said that Whatever it Takes is ‘Stylish, tense, thrilling, building to a truly shocking conclusion.’ Huge thank you to Catherine for that.
I hope you’ll like Whatever It Takes.