TERENCE FAHERTY – Die Dreaming. Owen Keane #4, St. Martin’s Press, hardcover, 1994. Worldwide Library, paperback, 1996.

   This is the first of Faherty’s books I’ve read, at least that I can remember.

   In 1978 Owen Keane, failed seminarian, drinker, and general failure in life, attends his high school class tenth reunion, hoping to regain some lost something. Instead, he finds that several class members whom he had looked up to share a guilty secret, one that still haunts them. He walks away with his knowledge, and buries it until ten years later when he receives an anonymous second invitation to the twentieth reunion.

   He had thrown away the first, not intending to go, but now he finds that a class member has died – the member at the root of the guilty secret he uncovered a decade earlier. Always cursed with his need to know, he makes the journey into the painful past again.

   I like the way Faherty tells a story. The mood of the book reminds me somewhat of John Riggs, though there aren’t that many similarities in the types of story they tell, or in the protagonists. Keane is a different detective in some ways, in others not so; perhaps more humanly fallible, weaker in some ways than most, and with a compulsion to look for answers about everything in life.

   Faherty writes good, melancholy prose, and has a story to tell that in most ways is all too believable, about people equally so. I think I’ll see if I can find the earlier ones.

— Reprinted from Ah Sweet Mysteries #14, August 1994 (slightly revised).


      The Owen Keane series –

1. Deadstick (1991)
2. Live to Regret (1992)
3. The Lost Keats (1993)
4. Die Dreaming (1994)
5. Prove the Nameless (1996)
6. The Ordained (1997)
7. Orion Rising (1999)
8. The Confessions of Owen Keane (short story collection; 2005)
9. Eastward in Eden (2013)

Editorial Update: I don’t know at what point Keane becomes a PI. I’m not sure he ever does, officially, but somewhere along the way, he starts taking on cases for hire, sort of.