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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Ratlined is the first book in the Inspector O’Leary Series by Shane McCartney, a gripping crime novel with historical underpinnings and a setting in the period following the fall of Germany. We are introduced to a clandestine network of criminals from the fallen Nazis, running a powerful crime syndicate across multiple countries. This is a narrative that explores a crime syndicate constructed around the philosophy of the Aryan race, a tale that explores the sordid activities of members of the Nazis and fascists struggling to perpetrate their crimes beyond WWII. With an international setting featuring Berlin infested with allied forces, Argentina where a dying Nazi asks the one person he has left, his son, to prove his allegiance to the pure bloods before getting his inheritance which sends him on a perilous mission, and England where a powerful drama takes place. The reader is pulled into a web of crime, intrigue, covert activities, and glaring inhumanity. When Chief Inspector Sean O’Leary is summoned early one morning to a strange case of a body found in a rose garden, can he unravel the mystery and solve the case?
Shane McCartney leaves the reader in no doubt that this novel is well researched, presenting intriguing facts and creating a setting with interesting historical links. The story will entice fans of WWII literature, especially those interested in the activities of the Nazis. The author has a gift for plot, and the structure is unique, with a conflict that is phenomenal and well integrated into character development. The conflict moves the plot forward in a decisive way. Readers will enjoy the compelling cast of characters, the realism infused into the narrative, and the author’s fidelity in representing the callousness and evil of the villains of the story. Ratlined is transporting, hugely engaging, and evocative of a period that has haunted millions of people. It is deft and balanced and a work that will definitely find great appreciation as a motion picture.