M.J. Evans

Inspired by real events, M.J. Evans’ Finding Fionn is the story of an Irish thoroughbred racehorse who gets stolen by some nasty characters, and which comes with a twist-turn ending. Our protagonist in this pleasant Irish ditty is Patrick McCallin, who starts out the novel as a young boy with dreams of becoming a jockey, like this father. Patrick succeeds at his life’s goal and, along with the legend-making thoroughbred Fionn MacCool, becomes known all across Ireland.

But this is the age of The Troubles in Ireland, a dangerous time when the IRA has taken to kidnapping people for ransom in order to fund their campaign against England, and its Loyalist supporters. And it is in this context that Fionn is kidnapped.

While the political intrigue and violence of the times does cast a shadow over the novel, there is no explicit violence in Evan’s work. This makes Finding Fionn suitable for all ages, even old horse-lovers like me.

And, yes, I must admit my bias. My family, especially my sister, has been involved with horses for over 10,000 years, back when I was a wee tyke. My sister runs a small horse ranch, which means I get to ride, brush, feed, and scritch horse manes at will, but with none of the hard work involved. I also get to wander in the barns and smell the tack and hay, so I could really appreciate Evan’s description of a life around horses. Your results may vary. But if you do get a chance to be around horses, I highly recommend. So does Evans.

Finding Fionn is a mystery thriller that runs along at a suitable pace. The characters are believable, and even make mistakes that had me talking to the book: you can’t go there now, they know the location! As people, Evan’s characters could be fleshed out a bit more, but since Finding Fionn is not a drama, this doesn’t really detract from the book.

Evan’s writing is clear and simple, and suitable for all ages, as mentioned above.

If you’re looking for a mystery thriller stuffed full of Irish charm, landscapes, and characters, and especially if you love horses, you should give Evan’s book a try. I think you’ll enjoy it.