Light of the Diddicoy
The first installment of Eamon Loingsigh’s Auld Irishtown trilogy, Light of the Diddicoy illuminates the dark underbelly of Brooklyn’s Irish roots through the fictional story of Liam Garrity. Fresh off the boat in the early 20th century, Garrity is swept into the brutally violent world of New York’s Irish-American mobs, where survival demands living outside the law.
Having thoroughly enjoyed Black Mass, The Gangs of New York, The Westies and Paddy Whacked, I was eager to see an author tackle Irish gang culture in a fictional setting, and in terms of subject matter, Loingsigh didn’t disappoint. I liked the atmospheric quality of his narrative and the depravity he wasn’t afraid to depict within these pages. Unfortunately, I felt the story was undermined by inconsistencies in the author’s tone and somewhat shallow characterizations.
An original and poetic coming-of-age story, Light of the Diddicoy touches on some fascinating material, but might prove difficult for those looking for truly captivating, character-driven fiction.