Rose City Reader’s European Reading Challenge has definitely got me reading more books about Europe or set in Europe. Since the rules state that each book must be by a different author and set in a different country, the challenge has forced me to broaden my horizons and read stuff from countries across European. It’s also encouraged me to broaden my horizons when it comes to what kind of books I read. For years, I’ve read almost exclusively nonfiction. But over the last couple of years, I’ve found myself reading more and more fiction, especially stuff by international authors. (Other reading challenges like Mysteries in Paradise’s Global Reading Challenge and the Introverted Reader’s Books in Translation Reading Challenge have also provided inspiration.) Some of this international fiction has been of the mystery and crime varieties. My latest foray into these kind of genres is Anthony Quinn’s (sorry, not that Anthony Quinn) Border Angels. I came across a copy last weekend at the public library. Set in Northern Ireland, I grabbed it knowing I could count it as the United Kingdom part of the European Reading Challenge. However, I almost didn’t borrow it because I was worried it was some mass-marketed, superficial piece of crap. Much to my surprise, I was utterly wrong. Quinn’s Border Angels is a fast-paced and intelligent mystery.
Published in 2013, Border Angels is book two in the Inspector Celcius Daly series of mysteries. Set in Northern Ireland, it’s the story of police detective Daly’s race against time to locate Lena, a beautiful young Croatian women and recent escapee from an illegal brothel. A victim of sexual slavery and now on the run, Lena is the sought after missing link to a murder, a suspicious suicide, a blackmail scheme and a huge misappropriation of public funds. Trying to catch her before Daly does is her former pimp as well as a hit man with ties to the IRA. And like any decent mystery, there’s a few plot twists along the way.
I guess one of the reasons I was surprisingly satisfied with Border Angels is it’s not some cheap shoot ’em up bang-bang. The plot involves human trafficking, the recent world-wide real estate bust, political corruption, the global economy and the legacy of the IRA. Quinn’s Border Angels is recreational reading at it’s best.