The Father, Tom O. Keenan‘s debut novel, is an odd hybrid of the police procedural, noir, Brit Grit, black comedy and political thriller.
Set in an almost futuristic, dystopian Glasgow, The Father‘s protagonist Sean Rooney is a messed up alcoholic shrink who is dragged into a murder investigation by his ex-wife, DCI Kaminski. Broody and contrarian, Rooney is the sort of person who would cut off his face to spite his nose and makes Tony Black‘s Gus Dury look like Dr Phil.
The twist to this particular noir tale, though, is that Rooney has a voice in his head, who acts as a sort of stroppy Greek chorus and even narrates the tale. Indeed, the running dialogues between Rooney and, well, Rooney give a lot of the humour to a twisty crime story which very quickly spirals into am high-octane and over-the-top thriller.
The mixture of introspective noir and action movie is a tricky balancing act but one that Tom O. Keenan pulls-off and makes The Father a very interesting read indeed.