Creatures of Habit by Pat Mullan

Two boys flee in terror across the grounds of their boarding school, on a night when the rain slices the air like sheets of broken glass and trees bend and groan under gale-force winds. Before midnight one will die, exposing a dark world, centuries old.

Emmet Joyce rejects the school’s assertion that his son died accidentally. With a Church surrounded by scandal, cover-ups within the Church, and failures to protect children in their care, the priests who run the school no longer command the unquestioning trust of their flock.

Emmet trusts only one man to uncover the truth: his cousin, Ed Burke. But Ed is now in Florida, recovering from stress and burn-out in his New York law practice, and a failed attempt to start again in Ireland. Despite his reluctance to return to Ireland, Ed knows that he can’t refuse his family at this time of need.

So Ed Burke returns again to find that the Ireland of the twenty-first century is still the Ireland of James Joyce where ‘Christ and Caesar go hand in glove’. His quest for the truth leads him from Galway and Dublin to Boston and Rome, following a trail enmeshed in one family’s desire to occupy the chair of Peter, a desire under threat from that dark world, centuries old.

But an avenger stalks the land, one who exacts justice at the end of a rope, one who seeks revenge, not truth. Ed knows that all roads lead to Rome and he also knows that, if he is to uncover what really happened to his cousin’s son, he must protect the guilty.

“Creatures of Habit, the shimmer of evil…”

“There are shades of Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, and even Tom Clancy in Creatures of Habit, Pat Mullan’s powerful new novel. Set mainly in “Celtic Tiger” Ireland, the punning title displays the shimmer of evil that the novel’s hero, the all-too-human Ed Burke, senses throughout. Pederasty, madness, and murder abide in this complex and fascinating story; a story stolen by humanity’s seemingly bottomless capacity for corruption. Ed Burke is just the man to smoke it out. This is certainly one of the most exciting, and powerful, thrillers I’ve ever read–the complex art of the thinker’s mystery. Great stuff!” E.M.SCHORB

E. M. Schorb : award winning author and poet: winner of The Frankfurt Grand Prize in fiction for his novel, Paradise Square; 1973 International Keats Poetry Prize; Verna Emery Poetry Prize for Murderer’s Day, his fourth collection of poetry (Purdue University Press). E. M. Schorb’s new novel, Fortune Island, was published in 2009.

“Pat Mullan’s latest, LAST DAYS OF THE TIGER, is a razor blade down the spine. So fast-paced, expect whiplash. Grab a copy and clear your schedule!” James Rollins, New York Times best-selling author of BLACK ORDER.
–James Rollins

“Pat Mullan is a natural born storyteller with a gripping, engaging style. He may just be the next big thing in Irish crime fiction.” Jason Starr, author of LIGHTS OUT.
–Jason Starr

“LAST DAYS OF THE TIGER bristles with ingenuity, and a plot to kill for … has all the Irish gifts: dizzy narrative, sly humor, and marvelous readability. It rocks! Ken Bruen, Shamus and Macavity winning author of THE GUARDS.
–Ken Bruen

“LAST DAYS OF THE TIGER is a tight, intelligent thriller. Mullan writes suspense with an edge reminiscent of Bob Ludlum. An author to watch.” Cerri Ellis, Mostly Mystery Reviews.
–Cerri Ellis, Mostly Mystery Reviews

Pat Mullan is Ireland Chair of International Thriller Writers and he is a member of Mystery Writers of America. His thriller novels, poetry, and short stories are widely published in the US, Ireland, and the UK. He was one of fifty Irish writers chosen by Oxygen Books in the UK for inclusion in ‘City-Pick DUBLIN’, published to mark Dublin being chosen as UNESCO’S City of Culture for 2010. His short story, Galway Girl, was short-listed for the WOW Awards in 2010. It is one of the short stories that form part of his GALWAY NOIR anthology, available on-line from iPulp Fiction.

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