Sunday, August 14, 2011

Review: Confessions of a Catholic Cop, Pt 2

* This is the conclusion to PART I of my review...

I cozied up with Confessions of a Catholic Cop on a rainy Saturday night.  And save 20 pages, I finished the book in just one sitting.  So you could say it was both entertaining and well-paced.

I even cried!

(But that's not saying too much, considering I cry watching Dateline.)

From the rip though (or cover flip though), Fitzsimmons goes to work.  And he's a painter.  The kind I imagine, that sits, unassuming, drawing pictures in his mind with words.  Of you and yours and those and theirs, all while friendly chatting.

And then he paints on pages... palpable descriptions of varied individuals (and places also).  Interesting ones.

That said, the characters of Confessions came to life for me.  And I believed them.  Their motivations, insecurities, and frailties, too.

I liked them, and felt for them even.

Without giving too much away (because I've never been good at keeping surprises), I was sad to finish Fitzsimmons's book.  And if I didn't have a thing for a man in uniform before reading Confessions of a Catholic Cop, I do now!

My only criticism, and it's slight, is the Law & Order reference.  It distracted me, and took me out of the world of Michael Beckett, the protagonist.  Not to mention, I kept waiting for Ice-T to pop up.

But moving on now to the big discovery I mentioned in PART I of my review... about how I felt a pull to Fitzsimmons... how the similarities of our stories were undeniable... ya da ya da ya...

Let me just say, my instincts were right on! 

Upon reading one - County Cavan - reference midway through Confessions, the light went off.  

"That sounds familiar," I thought. 

And then I put it all together.  My great-great grandparents, the Colwells and Reillys, were from County Cavan in Ireland.  More specific, they lived in the Parish of Castlerahan, in the Townland of Clonkeefy.

I thought about it a little more, and as bizarre as it might seem, I remembered seeing a - Fitzsimmons - listed alongside my family, the Colwells, on the First Official Census of Ireland taken in 1821.

(Yes, I'm a nerd.  I have this document.)

And you know what, I was right.  There he was, plain as day.  Well maybe not plain as day, but there, yes.  See for yourself.

Michael Fitzsimmons - Age 45 - Servant & Labourer

I could draw this out invariably, but after a few shared emails with the author, and based off what he knew about his ancestors prior, I was able to place our families together in Clonkeefy.

In the early 19th century, no less.

Pretty cool, right?

Moral of this post, follow your intuition.  Oh, and read this book!

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