Sunday, 17 August 2014


My thoughts on this novel set in Ireland during the Second World War..........


Published by No Exit Press ~ October 2014
254 Pages

London at the dawn of 1918 and Ireland's most famous literary figure, WB Yeats, is immersed in supernatural investigations at his Bloomsbury rooms.

Haunted by the restless spirit of an Irish girl whose body is mysteriously washed ashore in a coffin, Yeats undertakes a perilous journey back to Ireland with his apprentice ghost-catcher Charles Adams to piece together the killer's identity.

Surrounded by spies, occultists and Irish rebels, the two are led on a gripping journey along Ireland's wild Atlantic coast, through the ruins of its abandoned estates, and into its darkest, most haunted corners. Falling under the spell of dark forces, Yeats and his novice ghost-catcher come dangerously close to crossing the invisible line that divides the living from the dead.


"Everyone knows that Ireland's most famous living poet is obsessed with ghosts"

The Blood Dimmed Tide weaves fact and fiction in this story of poet W.B. Yeats and his friend  Charles Adams, "the ghost catcher" and ex Medical Student, who narrates most of the story.

Yeats is a member of a secret occult society called The Golden Dawn (formed in 1888) of mystics devoted to the practice of medieval and eastern rituals of magic.

While attending seances in London Yeats is singled out by a young Irish girl, Rosemary O'Grady, who has recently been murdered and asks Yeats to help her.  Strangely, he had also recently received a letter from her telling of her torment.

He despatches Charles Adams to Ireland to try and find out who killed Rosemary, though he fears he is on a folly of a mission and doesn't really know what to do or what's expected of him.

This is where the story takes off as Adams becomes involved with Ireland's secret society of women, the abandoned and ruinous estates, the turbulent Atlantic Ocean and rebellious women on horseback.

But I did feel that it somehow lost it's way also, I didn't know what the author was trying to tell us, was the book a mystery, is it a paranormal story, is it about Ireland's struggles for freedom, or is it about Yeats?  It touched on gun running, German weapons and smugglers. The story was all over the place, there was too much going on and it felt like the author didn't know himself what it was focussed on, trying to fit everything in but not going into great detail about any of them.

Unfortunately, this book was not for me.

Source:  From Real Readers


About the Author:

anthony quinn
Anthony Quinn is an Irish writer and journalist. His debut novel Disappeared was shortlisted for a Strand Literary Award by the book critics of the Guardian, LA Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and other US newspapers. It was also listed by Kirkus Reviews as one of the top ten thrillers of 2012. His short stories have twice been shortlisted for a Hennessy/New Irish Writing award.

The Blood-Dimmed Tide is the first in a series of three historical novels set in Ireland during WW1 and the War of Independence. He lives in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

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