First to Score by Garbhan Downey from Requiems for the Departed – review

requiems for the departedreviewed by Sandra Seamans

As a ten-year-old Horslips fan, I’d become enthralled by the legend of Diarmaid and Grainne after hearing their take on the story in the song Warm Sweet Breath of Love (Book of Invasions, 1976). So, almost thirty years on, in a bid to leave a subtle Celtic stamp on my new book, I thought it’d be fun to transfer the couple’s doomed elopement to present-day Derry, to see if they’d fare any better.

Garbhan Downey

“First to Score” probably wasn’t the best story to assign to a female reviewer, at least this particular female. I’m not a sports fan and though my grandson plays soccer, I have no clue of how the game is played. But I have to admit that when characters are endowed with names like Dumpey Doherty, Get-em-up Gormey, and Jimmy Fidget how could I not keep reading?

The story revolves around a bet which goes like this:

“Okay, so,” concedes Red, “one last go. What if I’m the first to score in this year’s Irish Cup Final?”

“Do that,” laughs Gigi, “and I’ll marry you.”

Yeah, marrying Red is the farthest thing from Gigi’s mind. What ensues is a comical story of cross bets that plays off Ireland’s civil unrest and their madness for the game of soccer. Toss in a little romance and the game is on. If you’re a sports fan, you’ll love the backroom gambles and pay-offs that propel this story into one of the funniest romances that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Great fun for everyone!

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Brian Lindenmuth

Brian is the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler magazine and one of the fiction editors of Snubnose Press. In addition to Spinetingler his work has appeared in Crimespree magazine and at BSC Review, Galleycat and the Mulholland Books website. He also heads the Spinetingler Award committee.

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About Brian Lindenmuth

Brian is the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler magazine and one of the fiction editors of Snubnose Press. In addition to Spinetingler his work has appeared in Crimespree magazine and at BSC Review, Galleycat and the Mulholland Books website. He also heads the Spinetingler Award committee.

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