‘The Reckoning’, the third in the DS Lucy Golden series of crime novels based on Achill Island, has been released. Author Martina Murphy is an enthusiastic visitor to Achill after first becoming enthralled by the place during a week-long school holiday to the outdoor activities centre located at the former McDowell’s Hotel in Dugort (now operating as Pure Magic). Her return trips have also included a visit with a Dublin drama group to perform a play for several nights at The Valley House.
But it was a more recent visit, and a day of wild Atlantic weather, that inspired her to think of Achill as a location for a novel. As she describes it, “The idea for The Night Caller, my first crime novel, arrived almost fully formed, on a miserable, rain-soaked afternoon, whilst my husband and I were driving through the wilds of Achill Island. As hailstones slashed their way across the swaths of bogland which stretched out on either side of the car, I said to my husband, ”If I ever write a crime novel, this is where I’ll set it.'”
Murphy had previously written Young Adult novels and later, using the names Tina Reilly and Martina Reilly, had a number of ‘grown up’ novels published. These included Something Borrowed, a women’s fiction novel that was nominated for an Impac Award in 2005.
Her first crime novel, The Night Caller, was published in July 2021 and introduced us to DS Lucy Golden and the fictional team of Garda Síochána on Achill Island. The positive reaction to the book led to Murphy being described as ‘an exciting new voice in Irish Crime Fiction’. The second novel in the series, The Branded, was published in August 2022 and saw locations featured in the story expand from Achill to neighbouring areas of west Mayo including Newport and Westport. This book achieved further approval from critics and earned rave reviews and high ratings from readers, currently scoring 4.5 (out of 5) on amazon.co.uk, 4 (out of 5) on Waterstones, and 4.3 (out of 5) on Goodreads.
The latest novel, The Reckoning, dives deeper into the character of DS Lucy Golden and is, by the author’s own admission, the best story yet. She wrote about ‘The Reckoning‘: “From the beginning, this little gem of a book rattled along nicely, words pouring onto my virtual page. The Reckoning begins with a murder but is actually a tale of fatherhood. It examines the sacrifices people make for the ones they love. The novel is also about the creation of a myth, the lies that become truths and asks the question – can you ever really know what anyone is capable of?”
Copies of The Reckoning, including some signed by the author, are available in our Visitor Information Offices at Davitt Quarter, Achill Sound and in Keel. It is also available to buy in our online shop.
Martina has recorded a reading of the prologue to ‘The Reckoning’: