Blog tour: 29 March to 5 April 2022
Nothing will ever be the same again.
Sharona Waters is determined to dig into loan shark Dessie Dolan’s business and see him brought to justice. But when a young woman she’s only briefly met goes missing, a much darker story emerges.
Pulled into the ruthless world of people trafficking – a world built on violent brutality and sudden death – Sharona finds herself caught between crime and conscience, pursued by powerful and ruthless criminals, and just one bad decision away from having her whole world crash down.
Sometimes, the only way forward is to risk everything, no matter the cost.
This is the second book in the Ganestown trilogy and I haven’t read the first book, Hiding in Plain Sight, yet but will be remedying this soon! It’s currently only 99p on Kindle.
Right from the start, The Other Side of Fear is a powerful, shocking read and we’re thrown straight into a violent scene featuring loan shark, Dessie Dolan, and his minions as they torture and dispatch a man called Tommy Mellon.
Set in the Irish Midlands, in the fictional Ganestown, there are several threads to the story and it’s fascinating to try and work out how they all link together.
We meet 23-year-old Sharona Waters and her boyfriend, Ronan Lambe, who are trying to figure out why Dolan is running modelling competitions at his nightclub, Whispers. While there, Sharona meets a young woman called Rebecca Greenfield, who plays a key part in the story later on.
Investigative reporter Sharona is recovering after a recent incident in the previous book in which a man called Adam Styne, general manager of Hattinger’s Furniture, Fine Art and Antiques, abducted her after she uncovered his multi-million Euro art scam. Hugh Fallon and Ruth Lamero, a nurse, came to her rescue and Styne was sent to a local mental health hospital for assessment.
Boxing enthusiast Ferdia Hardiman, a sales manager and former colleague of Fallon, is brother-in-law to Charlie McGuire, owner of a local hardware store, who is mourning the death of his daughter, Ciara. She was murdered and Charlie suffered a minor stroke afterwards. Her brother, Malcolm, a gambler, is also in Dolan’s debt.
Hugh was made redundant from his regional manager job at Pharma-Continental and Hardiman helped him get a part-time job at the hardware store. Hugh is a carer for his mum, Kathleen, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and he’s struggling to cope as her condition is rapidly changing and he feels helpless, resentful, guilty and irritable.
We’re introduced to lots of different people and I had to concentrate to remember who they all were but things became clearer quickly. There are some really intriguing, strong and nasty characters, who are all well drawn, and it was fascinating as the story unfolded and we learnt more about them all. I particularly liked Sharona and Rebecca who are both brave and courageous women.
Overall, I really enjoyed this gripping, disturbing and well-plotted novel, which was uncomfortable and difficult reading at times, with its themes of gang violence, loan sharks, drugs, human trafficking, dementia and more. It was a tense, terrifying and fast-paced read and I was frantically turning the pages and really rooting for various characters and hoping they’d survive as their lives flashed before their eyes! It’s a chilling and engaging read – I was thoroughly immersed in the story and could vividly picture some of the more horrible scenes.
There are lots of twists and turns and startling revelations, as well as some clever subplots that really added to the story too. I was desperately trying to put all the strands together to try and figure out how it would all be resolved and was shocked by what transpired at times!
When writing this review, I was surprised to look back and see that the story was set over the course of nine days as so much happened and it was all very intense and action packed! I’d definitely recommend this entertaining crime thriller if you’re looking for something a bit grittier and darker than your average read.
Buy the book
The Other Side of Fear by Eoghan Egan can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle and in hardback and paperback, and as an eBook from Kobo and Google Books. Purchase the hardback, paperback and eBook directly from the Red Dog Press online shop.
About the author
A native of Co. Roscommon, Ireland, Eoghan wrote his first story aged nine. At college, he studied computer programming, and he now works in sales management and marketing, but his passion for reading and writing remain.
Eoghan’s stories were shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Short Story Prize, and Listowel’s 2019 Bryan McMahon Short Story Award Competition. Others have been published in various anthologies. He has also completed two crime fiction novels in a planned trilogy set in the Irish Midlands, and has started work on the third.
A graduate of Maynooth University’s creative writing curriculum and Curtis Brown’s Edit and Pitch Your Novel course, Eoghan divides his time between Roscommon and Dublin.
Eoghan constantly explores ways to increase his knowledge in the art of writing. He enjoys attending literary festivals and is excited about the prospect of getting back to face-to-face discussions with readers and writers. He’s also a heavy metal fan and, post Covid, can’t wait to headbang at a rock gig.
Thanks to Sean Coleman for my digital copy of The Other Side of Fear and for my place on the blog tour.