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Kevin McCarthy Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Family Books

Special Effects (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Into the Darkness (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Sean O'Keefe Mystery Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Wolves of Eden (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wintering Place (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

They're Here... Invasion of the Body Snatchers (With: Ed Gorman) (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (With: Ed Gorman) (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Down These Green Streets(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Kevin McCarthy

The Irish-American author Kevin McCarthy is a novelist of historical thrillers, combining the past with in-depth intriguing mysteries. Creating tension fuelled stories, he takes the reader on a journey into another era, with his well researched plots and characters, keeping the readers constantly turning the page for more. He also manages to make his stories highly accessible, whilst simultaneously ensuring that they’re extremely well researched too, lending them a high degree of accuracy and authenticity in the process.

Early and Personal Life

Born in Suffolk in the UK, Kevin McCarthy would grow up there with his father being stationed in the US Air Force there. This would come to shape much of his own life and work in the years to come, as he would follow in his father’s footsteps, serving in the Air Force as well. He would later go on to attend Boston College, as well as University College Dublin, all whilst building upon his passion for writing.

Taking his many experiences and putting it all back into his work, he would continue to hone and refine his craft as a writer throughout the years to come. Constantly on the lookout for exciting and interesting new ideas, he would take the time in crafting his own unique voice as a writer, focusing on his own specific interests and time periods. This would soon prove to be successful, as he would go on to receive awards for his work, as he continues to write to this very day, with a lot more to come yet.

Writing Career

It would be 2001 that McCarthy would release his first novel titled ‘Special Effects’, which he would write alongside David B Silva. This would also be the first in a series of novels titled ‘Family’, which would be followed by another series titled the ‘Sean O’Keefe Mystery’ series. Prior to this he would write a non-fiction book called ‘They’re Here…’, which he would write with Ed Gorman, someone he’d later write another non-fictional work with in 2006 titled ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’. Winning various awards for his work, he would also receive a Fingal County Council Arts Bursary in 2005, and he continues to receive a high degree of popularity with his work.


Initially released in 2010 on the 1st of May, this originally came out through the Mercier Press publishing label. Setting up the first in the ongoing series of ‘Sean O’Keefe’ novels, it would establish a new franchise, introducing a whole new character. Working as a historical period piece, it’s ultimately a thriller novel infused with the politics of the time, giving a window into the past, whilst also keeping the reader guessing throughout with the mystery element.

Dealing with an era buried within Ireland’s history, this is a story that’s well researched, looking back at their troubled past and the obstacles that they had to overcome. Thrown into the middle of this is one Sean O’Keefe, a rich, complex and multilayered character who really feels fully three-dimensional and well drawn. Really utilizing the landscape of the time, McCarthy allows readers to feel as if they’re actually there deep within the action, getting an actual feel of the time. The secondary characters are also well established too, with everyone’s story really being fleshed out, whilst also reflecting the politics of the time.

Taking place in West Cork, 1920, this period piece starts out with the Irish War of Independence raging in the month of November. It is here that a woman is found brutally murdered, left on the side of a windswept hill with a board reading simply ‘TRATOR’ tied to her beaten body, having been deemed a traitor. Leading the investigation is one Sean O’Keefe, the acting Sergeant charged with running this investigation by the Royal Irish Constabulary amidst all the chaos, himself a wounded veteran of the previous Great War. The one major issue is, though, just who does the perpetrator of this heinous crime swear allegiance too, as the IRA assign Volunteer Liam Farrell to the case as well, along with the Dublin Castle placing some sinister detectives alongside O’Keefe. Where does everyone’s allegiances lie, and who wants what from the case? Which side does the killer work for? Can O’Keefe solve the case as Cork’s number one Peeler?

Wolves of Eden

First published through the ‘W.W. Norton Company’ publishing outlet, this was a stand-alone title from McCarthy, with its own self-contained narrative. First released on the 6th of November in 2018, this would be another historical period piece, this time set in the post Civil War era of America. Taking place on the Frontier, it retains all the hallmarks of a great western thriller novel, one that is well researched and brilliantly realized once again by the author.

The setting itself is fully utilized in this knowing and intelligent story that is rich in both its sense of scope and sheer scale. Crafting characters that feel fully fleshed out once more too, McCarthy manages to set them up as proper players in his dense and evocative Frontier landscape. Painting a truly vivid picture of what it was actually like to live back then, he draws the reader in with wit and intelligence. The mystery thriller aspect of the story is also extremely well paced, taking its time to really explore itself, as well as its subject matter with its many interesting themes and ideas.

Set in 1866, this takes place in Dakota Territory, as it follows Lieutenant Martin Molloy’s investigation into the murders of a sutler and his wife in their off-post brothel. With a lot of political connections, the frontier fort based tradesman had made a lot of high-ranking friends, as they’re the ones calling the shots in regards to Molloy’s investigation. Out for blood, they want Molloy to bring back the culprits to face the gallows, but, the outpost that Molloy and Corporal Daniel Kohn find themselves at, is inhabited with less than welcoming soldiers who are violently against their investigation. Then there’s the Irish immigrant brothers Thomas and Michael, as they’re facing life after the Civil War, looking to settle down as farm laborers, something which they’re unable to do as they quickly head back to re-enlist in the army. How are they all connected with one another? Can Molloy and Kohn find the real culprits? Who will stand in their way as they face the wolves of Eden?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kevin McCarthy

2 Responses to “Kevin McCarthy”

  1. Gordon Dovre: 8 months ago

    Loved the two Irish soldier. write the third book.

  2. Mary Teresa Healy: 1 year ago

    I LOVE Peeler, but I have one big complaint, given that it is supposed to be so well researched. He keeps using the term The Troubles to refer to the war that is going on in Ireland in 1920. That term is used to refer to the period of the late sixties to about 1998 in Northern Ireland, which did NOT exist yet in 1920. Will someone PLEASE tell the guy??!!!!!!


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