Following the Wake by Gemma O’Connor

Gemma O’Connor is one of Ireland’s most popular mystery writers.  She was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1940.Educated in both in Ireland and in France.  She lived in Oxford, England where she worked as a bookbinder, a book restorer and also as a stewardess before she became a writer.  In 1995 she published her first mystery story which became successful.  This book, Following the Wake was written in 2002.


The book was book of the month in the book group I attend, run by author Evelyn Hood. I had never read anything by Gemma Collins before, nor have I read anything she has written since!   In this novel, a ten-year-old murder threatens more lives.

Former detective Frank Recaldo has taken to crime-writing and has married Cressida Sweeney. They have built a new life for themselves in Dublin, but Frank’s growing fame threatens to cast light on their past.

Cressida’s son, Gil is now 18.

He is obsessed with doubts about the drowning that kept his father from being tried for murder is determined to find out what really happened when he was just a small boy.  His father supposedly drowned after being named the prime suspect in Evangeline’s death.  An old rotting house, hidden letters and the surfacing of long-buried memories threaten to turn Gil’s world upside down.

However, it is a tenacious journalist, whilst digging up dirt for a series on unsolved murders, who brings the tale to a startling climax. To fully appreciate the complexity of this book, I believe readers should read the series, of which this book forms part, in sequence.



I did not.  Possibly as a result of this, I had trouble relating to the characters and following the rather jumpy narrative.  Also, I just did not really find the characters particularly interesting. The constant switches between first and third person in the narration were a bit confusing too.  The style of writing was not really to my taste and I would not seek out this author again.


1 Comment

  1. This book was not for me.


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