John Brady's A Stone of the Heart is a dark, dreary night of a book. Set in Dublin, Police Sergeant Matt Minogue is trying to get back to work after a disastrous occurance. His first case seems straighforward on the surface but gyrates into something far more sinister and perhaps connected with the Troubles.
'Complex', 'compelling' and 'powerful' are words the Washington Post used to describe this book. The characters - both good and bad - are fully realized. The language and cadence of the dialogue is Irish and takes some concentration. This certainly fits my criteria for literate mystery.
This is the first book in a series of eight - the last published in 2005. Brady won the Arthur Ellis Award for this title for best first First Novel in 1989. The award is presented annually by the Crime Writers of Canada for the best Candian crime and mystery writing.
Wikipedia provided the following information which I found amusing: "The awards are named for Arthur Ellis, the pseudonym of Canada's official hangman. The award statue itself is wooden model of a hanging man. The arms and legs move when the statue's string is pulled."
P.S. This isn't the cover on my paperback either!