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Dead Men Whistling

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A Garda sergeant is found beheaded with an Irish tin whistle sticking out of his neck. He was due to give evidence at a major inquiry into police corruption. The murder sends a clear message to any future whistleblowers: silence is safe. The corruption inquiry hinges on the arrest of one of Cork's most dangerous drug dealers. There was enough evidence to convict him, but in A Garda sergeant is found beheaded with an Irish tin whistle sticking out of his neck. He was due to give evidence at a major inquiry into police corruption. The murder sends a clear message to any future whistleblowers: silence is safe. The corruption inquiry hinges on the arrest of one of Cork's most dangerous drug dealers. There was enough evidence to convict him, but instead he walked free. The arresting officer was DCI Katie Maguire and she's determined to expose the truth. But when another officer is found murdered in the exact same way, Katie soon finds that people would rather keep a dirty secret than lose their heads.


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A Garda sergeant is found beheaded with an Irish tin whistle sticking out of his neck. He was due to give evidence at a major inquiry into police corruption. The murder sends a clear message to any future whistleblowers: silence is safe. The corruption inquiry hinges on the arrest of one of Cork's most dangerous drug dealers. There was enough evidence to convict him, but in A Garda sergeant is found beheaded with an Irish tin whistle sticking out of his neck. He was due to give evidence at a major inquiry into police corruption. The murder sends a clear message to any future whistleblowers: silence is safe. The corruption inquiry hinges on the arrest of one of Cork's most dangerous drug dealers. There was enough evidence to convict him, but instead he walked free. The arresting officer was DCI Katie Maguire and she's determined to expose the truth. But when another officer is found murdered in the exact same way, Katie soon finds that people would rather keep a dirty secret than lose their heads.

30 review for Dead Men Whistling

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    Two things I discovered things whilst reading this: 1, I need to read more Graham Masterton. 2, I need to read crime series in order. Firstly the only Masterton book that I'd previously read was a teen Point Horror, so hadn't previously appreciated his writing. Secondly I'm always impulsively buying books without checking if they're part of a long running series, this being the ninth Katie Maguire novel. One thing I appreciated from the authors horror background was the grisly depiction of the murder Two things I discovered things whilst reading this: 1, I need to read more Graham Masterton. 2, I need to read crime series in order. Firstly the only Masterton book that I'd previously read was a teen Point Horror, so hadn't previously appreciated his writing. Secondly I'm always impulsively buying books without checking if they're part of a long running series, this being the ninth Katie Maguire novel. One thing I appreciated from the authors horror background was the grisly depiction of the murders in this novel, as a group of policemen who were prepared to give evidence in a corruption are found decapitated with a silver whistle lodged down their throats. That's certainly some message to give these 'whistleblowers'! I hope I've not spoiled the earlier stories as these deaths might have proved more shocking if I'd knew the characters from previous books? The novel also includes various other side plots and again I was slightly hindered and confused by them, but it seems that Matherson has crafted a depth to this series. I wished I'd held off and brought the first one instead.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Angela Verdenius

    Hard, gritty story about betrayal and those who suffer when reporting wrong-doings in the ranks. Again the murders are gruesome, but the story is so well done IMO. One thing...I would NEVER be part of Katie's police team, be it uniform or plain clothes! You're bound to die hideously at some point!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    4 stars **For the faint of heart: This story has some graphic violence. Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire responds to a call of a body at a mansion. It is Jimmy O’Faolain owner of the mansion. The investigation just gets underway, when a report of a headless man comes in. He was found in a cemetery. The body in the cemetery is identified as DS Kieran O’Regan. He was set to give testimony is a court case soon. A whistle was stuffed down his neck, for he had been decapitated. There was no sign 4 stars **For the faint of heart: This story has some graphic violence. Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire responds to a call of a body at a mansion. It is Jimmy O’Faolain owner of the mansion. The investigation just gets underway, when a report of a headless man comes in. He was found in a cemetery. The body in the cemetery is identified as DS Kieran O’Regan. He was set to give testimony is a court case soon. A whistle was stuffed down his neck, for he had been decapitated. There was no sign of his head where the body was found. DS John Lacey is murdered in the same manner as O’Regan. Lacey’s son, Aidan was also kidnapped at the same time. The kidnappers mutilated him, but he is still alive when a couple of football players find them. Then, very quickly, the remaining three “whistleblowers” are murdered in the same manner as the first two. This happened while they were under the protection of a very efficient private security firm hired by Katie to protect the witnesses. The only person she told of the arrangement was her direct supervisor Denis MacCostagain. Undercover detective Michael gets in very deep trouble. First he is kidnapped and held so that Katie won’t bring any more drugs searches or arrests against a certain bad guy. His release was won at the price of the deaths of two detectives. When he goes to confront the bad guy and his gang, he is given an ultimatum. Katie gets an idea of how to draw the murderers into the open, but it is very dangerous. She also finds a clue as to who murdered Jimmy O’Faolain. It is not a welcome one. Her boyfriend Conor gets himself into a sticky problem. All these issues come to a head in a fast-paced and nail-biting conclusion to our story. This book, I don’t know if Mr. Masterton has lost his love for his character Katie or what. He gets her into almost impossible situations, one after another. Are the criminals really that bad in Cork? I think if I lived there, I’d almost be insulted at the sheer level of violence and uncaring about other human lives. Her life is in great danger in this book. /shrug I’m still going to read the next in the series because I’m well and truly hooked.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    Such a great read would highly recommend reading in order. Katie is a bit more controlled sexually in this one which is a bonus

  5. 5 out of 5

    Plum-crazy

    Those that have read my reviews will know that I LOVE Graham Masterton & this, as usual, is a rather gruesome tale - just how I like 'em! - & while I enjoyed it well enough, my first thought on closing the book was "Well that was less than convincing". I've said for a few books now that I don't like the persona of Katie Maguire & this instalment does little to establish her as a credible character to me. I just find it hard to believe in some...probably most...of her actions. I'm getting weary of Those that have read my reviews will know that I LOVE Graham Masterton & this, as usual, is a rather gruesome tale - just how I like 'em! - & while I enjoyed it well enough, my first thought on closing the book was "Well that was less than convincing". I've said for a few books now that I don't like the persona of Katie Maguire & this instalment does little to establish her as a credible character to me. I just find it hard to believe in some...probably most...of her actions. I'm getting weary of her relationship crises, & the formulaic feel to the books...& she plain irritates me! Will I read anymore? Of course I will, go figure.......... 3.5 stars from me must be a record low for this author.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Roy Hollinshead

    Compellingly Gruesome! Another 'ripping' yarn from GM. Always an edge of unbelievable horror in his tales. A strong 'uurrgghhh' sensation accompanies his openings and, however grisly the detail and overview, you're compelled to continue and see DS Maguire nail the culprits. This time she is well and truly taken to the limits and manages to come back with a lot of help from her colleagues. How she gets out of bed in the morning to keep doing it is anyone's guess!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stan Barton

    A good read Another enjoyable encounter with Katie Maguire, a good read. I've enjoyed following this Irish detective having.g read all the books in the series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Albert

    Dead Men Whistling is book #9 in the Katie Maguire series by Graham Masterton. This series is perhaps one of the most gritty and violent series of crime novels I have ever come across and this may be the first book in this series that doesn't feature an act of violent rape of a woman. Instead they are simply beheading and cutting off body parts a la Scarface fashion. A sergeant in the Garda is found dead, sitting on a bench in a cemetery, an Irish tin whistle jammed into the stump of his neck. As Dead Men Whistling is book #9 in the Katie Maguire series by Graham Masterton. This series is perhaps one of the most gritty and violent series of crime novels I have ever come across and this may be the first book in this series that doesn't feature an act of violent rape of a woman. Instead they are simply beheading and cutting off body parts a la Scarface fashion. A sergeant in the Garda is found dead, sitting on a bench in a cemetery, an Irish tin whistle jammed into the stump of his neck. As air leaves the dead body the whistle plays. The sergeants head is missing. He was schedule to testify later in the week against corruption in the Police department. The message sent is very clear, the whistleblowers will be dealt with with vicious violence. The shredded remains of the throat makes it clear that a chainsaw is being used. DCI Maguire knows that the corruption inquiry will lead to the arrest of one of the most dangerous drug dealers in Cork. But to do this she needs to keep the other officers who are to give testimony safe. But what she also knows is that there is someone in the department who is giving away the locations of the remaining officers and now they face the fate of the first whistleblower. Tensions mount and so do the bodies, headless with tin whistles singing. The Katie Maguire series is gritty and bloody and some of the best crime drama I have read. It is also, by far, the most graphically violent crime drama I have read. To give the reader an idea there is rape, gang rape, beheadings, children whose legs are cut off, feet that are drilled through and then fastened to the floor, dogs killed and on and on. If you are the least bit adverse to reading such acts know full well, that Masterton pulls no punches. Katie Maguire herself is a very interesting character that seems built for the emotional and physical abuse that is rained down on her. We have seen her lovers raped, tortured and left for dead. Her family dies with the guilt carried on her shoulders and not even her dog is spared violence. In Dead Men Whistling Maguire is not only battling the most dangerous drug dealer she is yet to face but her own department whose sentiments are not with those who would testify against other policemen. But it is Maguire that drives this novel and the entire series, she is as close to giving up in this novel than she has ever been. The cost of doing the right thing in a corrupt and unforgiving world is costing her too much. In the earlier novels, Maguire's uncompromising nature strengthened her resolve as she battle the bloody and cruel streets of Ireland. But here, in Dead Men Whistling, we may be seeing the first cracks in the armor. Another good read in this series. Intense and atmospheric.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marian Lynch

    While this was a very good book with a very interesting story line that captured my attention from the outset. I can't say the same for the dialog. Well actually I can but not in a good way! The story and characters are based in Cork city Ireland. However as soon as I started reading it I got confused given the various accents and dialects of some of the characters. I thought it was based else where such as Derry, Belfast or Dublin and when the young boy used the word "shall", I began to wonder i While this was a very good book with a very interesting story line that captured my attention from the outset. I can't say the same for the dialog. Well actually I can but not in a good way! The story and characters are based in Cork city Ireland. However as soon as I started reading it I got confused given the various accents and dialects of some of the characters. I thought it was based else where such as Derry, Belfast or Dublin and when the young boy used the word "shall", I began to wonder if the author hadn't done his homework properly. No one in Cork use the word "shall" unless they lived in England or their parents came from England. Which was not the case here. As the story went on I came to the conclusion that the author had picked up a copy of the 'Cork Book of Slang' and inserted words just for the sake of affect thinking they would reflect how Cork people speak. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that he had lived in Cork for five years! All I can say is he must never have sat in a local pub, got on the local bus or travelled between the Northside and Southside to listen to people's conversations to actual pick up the every day speak of Corkonians. Not to mention the lack of wit that Irish people are world renowned for especially Cork wit. This was very much lacking in the book. And his fascination (not a spoiler) with Katie's thong which he references more than once really had me baffled. Have you ever read a book where the main character has to use the bathroom and the act of her pulling down her jeans and then her thong is actually described in detail. Well if you like that level of minute detail, you're in for a treat. You might have guessed by now that I'm a Corkonian and this is why I was so frustrated with the Cork slang/ language been totally misplaced. Perhaps others who have read this book and not familiar with how Irish people speak would have even noticed that this was a bit more like the old Hollywood films and not a story line of Ireland in modern times. I will try and read another one of DS Katie Maguire series just to see if there's been an improvement, however there's no guarantee I'll finish it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Snape

    As normal this book is set in Cork in the Irish republic and follows the cases dealt with by DCI Katie Maguire and her colleagues. I have read a number of books in this series but for anyone who picks up one for the first time, the author uses a lot of Irish slang and Irish slang that is particular to Cork. Don't be put off by this, there are many places just a click away on the net that will help you find there true meaning and enhance your enjoyment of the story. This book is about a policeman As normal this book is set in Cork in the Irish republic and follows the cases dealt with by DCI Katie Maguire and her colleagues. I have read a number of books in this series but for anyone who picks up one for the first time, the author uses a lot of Irish slang and Irish slang that is particular to Cork. Don't be put off by this, there are many places just a click away on the net that will help you find there true meaning and enhance your enjoyment of the story. This book is about a policeman a member of the Garda found dead by being decapitated and a tin whistle being stuck down what is left of his throat, his head is missing. This Garda was due to give evidence at a police corruption trial. More headless policemen turn up and DCI Katie Maguire has to find the men behind these killings. As usual Katie's private life is far from ordinary and we learn a bit more about her and her red setter dog. This is a good read and a great addition to the series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Balthazar Lawson

    As usual, Katie Maguire has more things on the go then one would seem capable of handling. She has dead and missing policemen, a dead financier, dead criminals and a growing mistrust among the officers at Anglesea Road Station to deal with. It's all go go go. Katie in her determined and unwavering manner must overcome all the obstacles that are placed her way to get to the truth and at the same uphold the oath she swore when she joined the police. An oath that is being challenged more often. Her As usual, Katie Maguire has more things on the go then one would seem capable of handling. She has dead and missing policemen, a dead financier, dead criminals and a growing mistrust among the officers at Anglesea Road Station to deal with. It's all go go go. Katie in her determined and unwavering manner must overcome all the obstacles that are placed her way to get to the truth and at the same uphold the oath she swore when she joined the police. An oath that is being challenged more often. Her strength of character is what gets her through and her true friends. Her personal life is not easy either and it also challenges her to uphold the oath. All this makes for an enjoyable read, even though it is rather gruesome in the normal Graham Masterton manner. There is a grittiness to these novels and is way I enjoy them so much.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mark O'Toole

    This book caught me off guard. Masteton was a favorite author of mine when i was in my teens. The Manitou was one of the scariest books I ever read. Now he's writing this crime fiction series, based in Cork. (Note: Never visit Cork, at least Masterton's Cork -- lots of death!) This was a full story with many plots, characters and depth. Some of the throw-away lines are not needed; that's the only reason this lost a star -- too many quips. But Katie is a strong character, lots of sadness in her li This book caught me off guard. Masteton was a favorite author of mine when i was in my teens. The Manitou was one of the scariest books I ever read. Now he's writing this crime fiction series, based in Cork. (Note: Never visit Cork, at least Masterton's Cork -- lots of death!) This was a full story with many plots, characters and depth. Some of the throw-away lines are not needed; that's the only reason this lost a star -- too many quips. But Katie is a strong character, lots of sadness in her life but hope too. It's a great, and grisly, crime story. I'll read more about DS Maguire. Caution: This is written with heavy Irish slang and colloquialisms. After finishing this book, I need a scoop.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joe Geesin

    ANother excellent Katie Maguire book, and I def preferred this to the last one. Since about book 2, there's been a constant back story of police corruption, and here it comes to a head, central to the plot. Katie comes close, but it is all (seemingly) dealt with, although no doubt will run over into the next one. The unnecessary intricacies of Katie's sex life are reigned back, thankfully. There's personal tragedy to deal with here, and the Police bodycount is still way out of hand. Just as one ANother excellent Katie Maguire book, and I def preferred this to the last one. Since about book 2, there's been a constant back story of police corruption, and here it comes to a head, central to the plot. Katie comes close, but it is all (seemingly) dealt with, although no doubt will run over into the next one. The unnecessary intricacies of Katie's sex life are reigned back, thankfully. There's personal tragedy to deal with here, and the Police bodycount is still way out of hand. Just as one has to wonder how there's anyone still alive in Midsomer, the same could apply to the Cork Garda. Well written, good story, although the ending a little OTT, but there's more than enough there to want to read the next one.

  14. 4 out of 5

    John Morris

    Dark and beguiling! You know what to expect from a Katie Maguire story and this one topped the lot. How unfortunate can you be when your lover, father and boss are all implicated in murder? This, rip roaring, story rattled along at such a break neck speed I was in danger of losing touch with the body count, not to mention who was on the take and who wasn't. The sub plots in the story are all interconnected and I would like to say that everything worked out in the end but, unfortunately, it didn't Dark and beguiling! You know what to expect from a Katie Maguire story and this one topped the lot. How unfortunate can you be when your lover, father and boss are all implicated in murder? This, rip roaring, story rattled along at such a break neck speed I was in danger of losing touch with the body count, not to mention who was on the take and who wasn't. The sub plots in the story are all interconnected and I would like to say that everything worked out in the end but, unfortunately, it didn't. That's what makes Graham Masterton's books such a joy to read. Highly recommended.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joe Stamber

    Another entertaining entry in the Katie Maguire series that Graham Masterton seems to be pumping out at will. This is another fairly gruesome novel that betrays the author's history of horror novels. Cosy mystery it is not. Anyone paying attention will roll their eyes on a few occasions, either because of the dumbness of some of the Garda or the some of the daft plot points. I nearly knocked the rating down to 3 stars on that basis, but I read fiction to be entertained and Masterton comes up wit Another entertaining entry in the Katie Maguire series that Graham Masterton seems to be pumping out at will. This is another fairly gruesome novel that betrays the author's history of horror novels. Cosy mystery it is not. Anyone paying attention will roll their eyes on a few occasions, either because of the dumbness of some of the Garda or the some of the daft plot points. I nearly knocked the rating down to 3 stars on that basis, but I read fiction to be entertained and Masterton comes up with the goods. If you like your crime to be gritty and don't mind a few stretches in credulity, you won't go far wrong with Katie Maguire.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Whew. This one was difficult for me. If you do not know Irish slang/culture this one will be difficult to get through. I was a little shocked by the body count in this one. Whew, it seems like Cork is uber violent and just full of dead bodies. ******SPOILER***** I was kind of shocked of the "big killer." It was basically spelled out for the reader and I saw it coming a mile away. I didn't want it to be him because it was so obvious. I also feel bad for Katie. It seems like anyone she cares about Whew. This one was difficult for me. If you do not know Irish slang/culture this one will be difficult to get through. I was a little shocked by the body count in this one. Whew, it seems like Cork is uber violent and just full of dead bodies. ******SPOILER***** I was kind of shocked of the "big killer." It was basically spelled out for the reader and I saw it coming a mile away. I didn't want it to be him because it was so obvious. I also feel bad for Katie. It seems like anyone she cares about dies...so I certainly wouldn't want to be friends with her....

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Graham Masterton sure does know how to do grisly disturbing and blood thirsty scenes and this book has no shortage. Certainly not a read for the feint hearted. Despite the horrific scenes of murder, however, there is still the comic element shining through and at times I laughed out loud. Continuing Katie’s fight for justice against,yet again, a corrupt police force in Cork and sexist superior officers, this book tackles insider back handers and whistle blowers being killed to silence their clai Graham Masterton sure does know how to do grisly disturbing and blood thirsty scenes and this book has no shortage. Certainly not a read for the feint hearted. Despite the horrific scenes of murder, however, there is still the comic element shining through and at times I laughed out loud. Continuing Katie’s fight for justice against,yet again, a corrupt police force in Cork and sexist superior officers, this book tackles insider back handers and whistle blowers being killed to silence their claims. Roll on the next instalment.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Edward Smith

    Never Delivers to its Potential Love this author and the Katie McGuire series but this volume did nothing for me. Horrible things are happening to honorable Gardia and lovers and family members are committing first degree crimes and everyone is acting like it is another day at the office. Story lacks any depth. If you have read the other eight it's worth a look but I have a hard time recommending it on its own merit. Sorry!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Karen wadey

    This book is brilliant but not for the fainthearted. I've read most of the Katie McGuire series of books by Graham Masterton and they are fantastically brutal stories revolving around a female Inspector in the Garda in Cork which also tells us of her troublesome homelife. I highly recommend them but if you are of a nervous disposition look away now.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Geraint griffiths

    Brilliant Loved this book couldn't put it down .Absolutely love all of the Katie Maguire series . Full of twists couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next .Graham Masterton has a way of reeling you in and that's it your hooked !

  21. 4 out of 5

    joan caryl jewitt

    Brilliant!!! What an absolutely brilliant book although not for the faint-hearted! I was kept on the edge of my seat during the last few chapters - certainly kept me guessing as to who "the head honcho" was!!!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shar

    Well another great Kaite Maguire story from Graham Masterton, love this series but this was abit grisly in places. I don't know how Katie deals with the awful situations she is put through in these books. Would highly recommend this book and this whole series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Philip Lindsay

    Bloody, horrible The story was quite horrid at times and the brutality was bloody, horrible and inconceivable. ...but it was a good tale with lots to like and lots to look forward to in the upcoming stories.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I enjoy the Katie Maguire books and this one is no exception. However, the identity of the rouge garda, was not hidden well enough, so no big surprise . The Katie Maguire books are all easy to read and gallop along well, ideal for a lazy afternoon.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    First time reading a book by this author! I was originally going to go for a 4 star review but to be honest I found this books very entertaining. The details and the gore is very well written and I found the story and characters engaging.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Cooper

    Only one slight problem with this series is perhaps more should be left to the reader's imagination. A little too graphic in parts. Still an exciting read very fast spaced. Yep , it looks like I'm going to read more Late Mcquire . Already have the next in the series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    June

    Katie Maquire book 9 I think this is the best yet in the series of books. Kept you guessing and on edge from beginning to end.

  28. 5 out of 5

    K Saju

    Good one

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Best

    Yer head’s cut! Now there’s a great story! A bit gruesome for the faint hearted! Love the characters! It chaotic but who cares.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jo Marchant

    Yet another stonking book from this great man who can't write fast enough for me. A really good book but if you are tempted to read this start at number one - it is all so worth it.

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