A Man With One of Those Faces, Caimh McDonnell

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

One of those series that I plucked from a long list on Audible when looking for something new and fun to listen to. Sometimes the universe is very good to you.

A MAN WITH ONE OF THOSE FACES was such good fun with madcap action and activities, really engaging characters, and a mystery plot that lent itself well to listening. The narrator of this was also perfect, with an engaging accent and an excellent deployment of varied voices to always give you an idea about who is who in a busy, but not overcrowded cast listing.

The series revolves around Paul Mulchrone, he of the rather complicated backstory. Things start out when we find him visiting an elderly woman in hospital, which turns out to be as a result of impositions from his great-aunt's will, and his deeply held desire to fight back against the ridiculous restrictions she has imposed from the grave. As a favour to Nurse Brigit, he also sits with an elderly man, who mistakes Paul for somebody else, makes some very suspicious comments, and stabs Paul in the shoulder. Which leaves Paul with a sore shoulder, limited movement, and a very strong desire to work out what all that was about. Meanwhile, Brigit has a bad dose of the guilts, and DI Jimmy Stewart is called in to investigate. (So I laughed a bit). Stewart is nearing his keenly anticipated retirement, alongside the long-suffering Mrs Stewart, even more so after being saddled with Detective Wilson. Stewart is a very likable sort of a chap, and Wilson's is, in Stewart's words, "the worst kind of idiot, a highly educated one". 

As likeable, interesting and fun as the cast up until this point is, it gets better, as various other eccentrics join the ranks, including the standout - DS Bunny McGarry. Technically uninvolved in this case, McGarry is not a man to take a backward step and "Paulie Mulchrone is one of my boys". In that McGarry has run a hurling team for years. The team's main aim to keep a bunch of young blokes on the straight and narrow, the idea that they might be beholden to, or even fond of McGarry as a result only slightly part of the plan.

Now McGarry is, well, unusual. Brigit's an unusual sort of a nurse as well and Paul's in an unusual situation with the way that he lives his life because of his great-aunt's dying impositions. The situation they find themselves in, as a result of a simple little bit of mistaken identity and wrong place / wrong time is unusual as well, but somehow, steeped as this book is in Irish identity, life, culture and interactions, it all becomes wonderfully, if not slightly crazily, usual. 

It is, in fact, highly entertaining listening, with plenty of laugh out loud moments and an unusual plot that works as part of the day to day lives of Paul, Brigit and the wonderful Bunny McGarry. Bodes well for the rest of the series - this should be an absolute hoot.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

The first time somebody tried to kill him was an accident.

The second time was deliberate.

Now Paul Mulchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violence. Together they must solve one of the most notorious crimes in Irish history...

...or else they’ll be history.

Review A Man With One of Those Faces, Caimh McDonnell
Karen Chisholm
Thursday, January 4, 2024
Blog Updates - week ending 5th January 2024
Karen Chisholm
Tuesday, January 2, 2024

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