“A Shooting in Rathreedane”
by Colin Barrett
from the December 13, 2021 issue of The New Yorker

I have to admit, though I really like Colin Barrett’s work, I’m wary to read “A Shooting in Rathreedane.” Even the graphic the magazine has included with the story is exceptionally disturbing. But I am curious about Barrett’s handling of a delicate topic.

From his interview, it seems like this story might be focused on the police response, rather than the incident. The first paragraph also suggests this is the case:

Sergeant Jackie Noonan was squaring away paperwork when the call came in, just her and the gosling, Pronsius Swift, in Ballina Garda Station. The third officer on duty, Sergeant Dennis Crean, had run out to oversee the extraction of a Renault Mégane that some young lad—sober, apparently, just a nervous non-local negotiating the cat’s cradle of back roads around Currabaggan—had nosed into a ditch a half mile out from the national school. The car was a writeoff but the lad had got away without a scratch, according to Crean, and he was a lucky lad, because Noonan knew the roads out that way and they were wicked: high-ditched, hilly, and altogether too narrow; scantily signposted and laced with half-hidden, acutely right-angled turns that it took only a second’s inattention to be ambushed by.

This story is from Barrett’s forthcoming collection, Homesickness, which comes out in May and will be a must-read collection for me.

I’m very interested in any of your thoughts on the story, so please feel free to comment below.

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