The Blood Miracles is a fast paced novel, a gangster film with heart, and a story of one guy’s messy involvement with a new route for getting drugs into Cork. Ryan Cusack is half-Irish and half-Italian, but caught between far more things and people than that: his own issues chase him, his girlfriend’s not happy, and his allies are not always so allied.
The plot follows a fairly expected chase around deals, betrayal, and the mix between business and pleasure, but with Ryan holding the narrative together as he attempts to deal with everything at once. He is a gripping character, one who is barely holding together family problems and mental health issues, and who is trying to be clever but also facing mounting danger as allegiances and threats come to a head. His musical ability and inability to make something of it show how it is not always talent that can be a miraculous escape, but instead luck and circumstance. The supporting characters are the kind to be expected from a book about deals and drugs, from the paranoid user boss to the rival with a connection to the hero, but McInerney paints them well, forming a vivid picture of the Cork world that Ryan lives in.
Though The Blood Miracles may sound from its description like another kind of Trainspotting or a Guy Ritchie film, in reality it is a modern take on the genre, with references to cloud storage and Orange is the New Black serving as reminders that McInerney is perhaps the future of the gangster story, bringing cleverness and charm to her work.
(Catch it out on 20th April 2017 – I read a proof thanks to John Murray and Netgalley)