Beyond the Pale

Midnight Ink. (World of Spies, Bk. 1). May 2018. 360p. ISBN 9780738756509. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780738757094. M
When 40-year-old tenured college professor Hollis Larsson agrees to meet with an old friend, she has no idea that she and her husband, Finn, will end up being chased by spies and killers across Ireland. Bored with her marriage and life, she pushes Finn to accept Interpol's request that they pick up a rare manuscript. But their contact in Dublin doesn't show, and the couple is followed and questioned at gunpoint by several suspicious people. Then a man is murdered in front of them at the theater. As they flee Dublin to Galway to Doolin and the Aran Islands, Hollis and Finn know only that they must rely on each other.
VERDICT O'Donohue's (Missing Persons) new series introduces a spirited and engaging duo (think Dashiell Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles) who complement each other as a spy team; the humor and adventures will remind readers of True Lies. After a slow start, the pace intensifies quickly. Armchair travelers will delight in the colorful descriptions of Ireland, while mystery buffs who enjoy charming sleuths will appreciate the quick-witted couple.

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