Books - The Devil I Know by Claire Kilroy

Irish award-winning novelist Claire Kilroy has delivered her fourth novel, set on the cusp of the Irish financial crisis.

We begin with Tristram St Lawrence, who is being interviewed about his part in the financial crisis that rocked the world. We learn that he’s a recovering alcoholic, who is delivered from evil – and rescued from near death – by his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor M Deauville.

A chance meeting with old school chum Desmond Hickey – now a greedy Irish property developer – sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Tristram facing his demons and dancing with the Devil (or should that be Deauville?) himself.

Kilroy nails the greed and ambition of those who were borrowing millions, purely because they could. You don’t sympathise with the characters, and the main protagonist is a complex maze of alcohol, repressed memories and secrecy, so it’s difficult to understand his actions.

However, it’s a brilliant read, full of dark humour and shocking twists.

Rating: 8/10.