Few’s What’s Going On.

McGivney opened the suitcase. I looked at the body, the body what was left of it. I’m looking at it then I’m turning and puking all over my shoes. Peak hangover, dismembered body, stinking Liffey, gawping Tooler, the ground hits me with some force. When I come round I’m lying on Tooler’s lap, I look up at his big scarecrow head and tell him I love him. He slaps me hard. Ah. Big shovels for hands.

“Are you from Mayo Tooler?”

“As it happens, how did you know?”

“Never mind, Whereabouts?”


“Ah, I hope you’re not gay…”

McGivney interjects “What the fuck is this? Blind date?”

He’s looming over me now, I can see the hairs in his nose, he gives me a hip flask.


Whiskey. Oh Mister McGivney I think I love you now as well. I’m such a police slut.

“So, look is it him?”

“I’ll need to take another look. Fuck but it does look like him, that’s the green velvet jacket he was wearing. Where’s the head?”

“We don’t know, no head, no hands. Professionals.”

It occurs to me that Few’s head was never that useful but those hands well the things they could do. With a keyboard I mean. You’ve got a filthy mind. All 21 of you.

“Hard to tell, it’s his clothes alright or the same clothes. Do you do toe prints down at the Bridewell?”

“Do you have to make a joke of every fucking thing?”

“Yes, yes I do. Flippant is my middle name…well, actually it’s Mary but that’s another story. He’d be embarrassed to be found in such a cheap suitcase. He had a luggage fetish.”

“You were in the oval last night.”

“In a manner of speaking.”

“Come on, get in the front, Tooler you’re in the back.”

We’re off speeding down the Grand Canal in McGivney’s old merc, siren blaring. McGivney is pumping out Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On in a pretty natty in-car stereo and Tooler is singing along, eyes closed.

“I didn’t have you pegged as a Marvin fan inspector”

“I’m full of surprises Brick, full of surprises, as you’ll find out. Tooler introduced me, he’s like a walking talking, Pitchforking bog warrior, the truth and justice business is just a hobby really”

Tooler repeats “Truth and Justice” and breaks into a wheezing laugh. McGivney looks at me and smiles, it’s not a pleasant smile.”

“Have you ever read ‘Few’ Tooler?”


We pull up outside an old pub on Parnell Square called Cleary’s. It was a beautiful Victorian gin palace but it’s been closed for years. We get out and McGivney bangs on the hoarding where the door used to be. The board creak and then an old man peers around the corner. He’s small, ancient, possibly Chinese, he’s wearing a skull cap and has a long white beard.

“Ah, Mister McGivney, Tooler, please come in.”

We through the gap and we’re in a shabby room, candles burning everywhere, there’s what looks like a reception desk on the right and the bar is at the back, dusty, festooned with cobwebs but still fully stocked as far as I can tell.”

McGivney addresses our host “Dimitri. We found the body.”

“Yes, yes I told you inspector. And how are you Mr. Tooler, it’s been a long time. I hope you are still taking the herbs, I think, by looking at you that you are.”

I swear Tooler is blushing.

“The head and hands are missing, the same as the one at before Christmas, same type of suitcase too. Buy one get one free, any idea who it is?”

“A professional, certainly. Yes, indeed. And who is this? “

“Brick, he worked with Few.” I didn’t like the finality of this pronouncement.

“Ah a friend of Few, any friend of Few is a friend of Dimitri.” He stands on front of me and then embraces me, holding me tight for much, much too long. I’m looking over his head “McGivney, what the fuck is going on? Tell him to get off me.”

“Ah Sir, you are embarrassed, my apologies. Please come with me I think I have something to interest you.”

He walks to the door behind the bar, I follow, McGivney and Tooler not far behind.

“After you.”

I walk into a smaller room, there’s a red light on and it’s completely empty apart from what looks like a massage table in the middle of the floor. There’s a soiled white towel thrown over it. There’s another identical door in the opposite wall. I turn around as the door closes. I’m on my own. A small hatch slides open in the wall and there’s three sets of unblinking eyes peering in at me. I start to panic.

“McGivney! What the Jesus, McGivney. Open the goddam fucking door.”

The other door opens and she walks into the room.

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