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Brian McGilloway books in order

Brian McGilloway is a British screenwriter and Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of mystery and thriller novels.

He is best known for writing the DS Lucy Black thrillers and Inspector Benedict Devlin mysteries.

Originally from Derry, Northern Ireland, McGilloway attended Queen's University, Belfast, where he studied English before teaching in St Columb's College in his hometown, where he was Head of English.

He later left the position in order to take up a role in Holy Cross College in Strabane, Northern Ireland.

Although he made his entry into fiction writing with the first four installments featuring Inspector Benedict Devlin, it was his fifth novel, Little Girl Lost (2011), that put him on the limelight. The novel was not only a New York Times Bestseller in America, but was also a No.1 Bestseller in the UK.

An award-winning screenwriter and the Writer In Residence with BBC NI, McGilloway currently resides in close proximity to the Irish borderlands with his beloved wife and children.

He is agented by David Headley of DHH Literary Agency.

More about Brian McGilloway

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1974

United Arab Emirates


Non Series

  • The Last Crossing (2020)
  • The Empty Room (2022)

D.S. Lucy Black

  1. Little Girl Lost (2011)
  2. Someone You Know (2013)
  3. The Forgotten Ones (2014)
  4. Bad Blood (2017)

Inspector Benedict Devlin

  1. Borderlands (2007)
  2. Gallows Lane (2008)
  3. Bleed a River Deep (2009)
  4. The Rising (2010)
  5. The Nameless Dead (2012)
  6. Blood Ties (2021)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Last Crossing

Tony, Hugh and Karen thought they'd seen the last of each other thirty years ago.

Half a lifetime has passed and memories have been buried. But when they are asked to reunite - to lay ghosts to rest for the good of the future - they all have their own reasons to agree.

As they take the ferry from Northern Ireland to Scotland the past is brought into terrible focus - some things are impossible to leave behind.

Author: Brian McGilloway
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-0349135014
Publisher: Constable
The Empty Room

What do you do when your child disappears?

Pandora - Dora - Condron wakes one morning to discover her 17-year old daughter Ellie, has not come home after a party.

The day Ellie disappears, Dora is alone as her husband Eamon has already left for the day in his job as a long-distance lorry driver. So Dora does the usual things: rings around Ellie's friends... but no one knows where she is. Her panic growing, Dora tries the local hospitals and art college where Ellie is a student - but then the police arrive on her doorstep with the news her daughter's handbag has been discovered dumped in a layby.

So begins Dora's ordeal of waiting and not knowing what has become of her girl. Eamon's lack of empathy and concern, Dora realises, is indicative of the state of their marriage, and left on her own, Dora begins to reassess everything she thought she knew about her family and her life. 

Increasingly isolated and disillusioned with the police investigation, Dora feels her grip on reality slipping as she takes it upon herself to find her daughter - even if it means tearing apart everything and everybody she had ever loved, and taking justice into her own hands.

Author: Brian McGilloway
First Release: 2022
ISBN: 978-1472133298
Publisher: Constable

D.S. Lucy Black

Little Girl Lost

Midwinter. A child is found wandering in an ancient woodland, her hands covered in blood. But it is not her own.

Unwilling - or unable - to speak, the only person she seems to trust is the young officer who rescued her, Detective Sergeant Lucy Black. Soon afterwards, DS Black is baffled to find herself suddenly moved from a high-profile case involving a kidnapping of another girl, a prominent businessman's teenage daughter.

At home, Black is struggling with caring for her increasingly unstable father, and trying to avoid conflict with her frosty mother - who also happens to be the Assistant Chief Constable. As she tries to identify the unclaimed child, Black begins to realize that her case and the kidnapping may be linked by events from the grimmest days of the country's recent history - events that also defined her own troubled childhood.

Author: Brian McGilloway
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-1472133403
Publisher: Constable
Someone You Know

Just before Christmas, the body of a sixteen-year-old girl is found along the train tracks on the outskirts of a small town. 

As Detective Lucy Black investigates the teenager's tragic last hours in search of clues to her death, she realizes that some of the victim's friends may have been her most dangerous enemies—and that whoever killed her is ready to kill again. 

Haunted by the memory of a case gone wrong, and taunted by a killer on the loose, Lucy finds herself pitted against a lethal opponent hiding in plain sight.

NB: This book is also known as Hurt.

Author: Brian McGilloway
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0062336712
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
The Forgotten Ones

The body of an elderly man is hauled out of the rushing water of the River Foyle, cold dead. Detective Lucy Black is called in to investigate when it becomes evident that this was not a suicide: the man's body was embalmed before it ever entered the water.

Confounded and exhausted, Lucy heads home to review the case in quiet; but there will be no rest for her tonight. She's barely in the front door when a neighbor knocks because his wife's sister has been attacked and they need her help.

As a string of strange crimes is unspooled throughout the city, Lucy is pulled in countless different directions… until she realizes there may be something dark and dangerous connecting everything.

NB: This book is also known as Preserve The Dead.

Author: Brian McGilloway
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0062336736
Publisher: Witness Impulse
Bad Blood

A young man is found in a riverside park, his head bashed in with a rock. One clue is left behind to uncover his identity—an admission stamp for the local gay club.

DS Lucy Black is called in to investigate. As Lucy delves into the community, tensions begin to rise as the man’s death draws the attention of the local Gay Rights group to a hate-speech Pastor who, days earlier, had advocated the stoning of gay people and who refuses to retract his statement.

Things become further complicated with the emergence of a far-right group targeting immigrants in a local working-class estate. As their attacks escalate, Lucy and her boss, Tom Fleming, must also deal with the building power struggle between an old paramilitary commander and his deputy that threatens to further enflame an already volatile situation.

Author: Brian McGilloway
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-0062684578
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Inspector Benedict Devlin


The corpse of local teenager Angela Cashell is found on the Tyrone- Donegal border, between the North and South of Ireland, in an area known as the borderlands. Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin heads the investigation: the only clues are a gold ring placed on the girl's finger and an old photograph, left where she died.

Then another teenager is murdered, and things become further complicated when Devlin unearths a link between the recent killings and the disappearance of a prostitute twenty-five years earlier - a case in which he believes one of his own colleagues is implicated.

As a thickening snow storm blurs the border between North and South, Devlin finds the distinction between right and wrong, vengeance and justice, and even police-officer and criminal becoming equally unclear.

Author: Brian McGilloway
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-1472133311
Publisher: Constable
Gallows Lane

When a young woman is found beaten to death on a building site in what appears to be a sexually-motivated killing, Devlin is distracted from his assignment of keeping tabs on Kerr. Enquiries into the murder soon point to a local bodybuilder and steroid addict. But days later, the born-again ex-con Kerr is found nailed to a tree; crucified.

Increasingly torn between his young family and his job, Devlin is determined to apprehend those responsible for the murders before they strike again, even as the carnage begins to jeopardize those he cares about most.

Author: Brian McGilloway
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-1472133328
Publisher: Constable
Bleed a River Deep

When a controversial US diplomat is attacked during the opening of a Donegal gold mine, Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin is disciplined for the lapse in security. The gunman turns out to be a young environmentalist - related to an old friend of Devlin's. Within days, the killing of an illegal immigrant near the Irish border leads Devlin to a vicious people-smuggling ring. 

Then Bradley himself is found dead near the mine and Devlin begins to suspect that the business is a front for something far more sinister than mere mining. Bleed a River Deep is the new novel from one of the most acclaimed young crime-writers around, a labyrinthine tale of big business, the new Europe, and the dispossessed.

Author: Brian McGilloway
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-1472133380
Publisher: Constable
The Rising

Inspector Devlin is called to investigate a case of arson: a burning barn and, inside, the charred remains of a local drug dealer.

Suspicions quickly fall on a local vigilante group that calls itself "the Rising."

But Devlin stumbles onto a more pressing case when his old partner's teenage son goes missing. With quiet determination, he attempts to make sense of the boy's disappearance …

That is, until another drug dealer is killed and Devlin realizes that the case goes far deeper and darker than he ever imagined.

Author: Brian McGilloway
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0062400475
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
The Nameless Dead

The small isle of Islandmore was once an avenue for smugglers and a burial place for unbaptized babies.

When a cold case leads Inspector Devlin to the desolate island in an attempt to locate the bodies of a group of people who have been presumed dead for over thirty years, he uncovers a horrifying secret: the body of a baby who appears to have been murdered. Every fiber of the inspector's being tells him he should find justice for this child, but he is prohibited from investigating further.

Devlin is torn. He has no desire to dredge up painful events of the past, but neither can he let a murderer go unpunished. Devlin must follow his conscience—even when it puts those closest to him at risk.

Author: Brian McGilloway
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0062417336
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Blood Ties

How can a dead woman avenge herself on her killer twenty years after her murder?

This is the puzzle facing Ben Devlin in his latest case. He is called to the scene of a murder - a man has been stabbed to death in his rented room and when his identity is discovered Devlin feels a ghost walk over his grave as he knows the name Brooklyn Harris well. As a teenager, Harris beat his then-girlfriend Hannah Row to death, and then spent twelve years in prison for the murder.

As Devlin investigates the dead man's movements since his release it becomes apparent Harris has been grooming teenage girls online and then arranging to meet them. But his activities have been discovered by others, notably a vigilante, who goes straight to the top of Devlin's list of suspects... until he uncovers that Harris was killed on the anniversary of Hannah's death - just too big a coincidence in Devlin's books. 

So Hannah's family join the ever-growing list of suspects being interviewed by his team. And then forensics contact Devlin with the astounding news that blood found on Harris's body is a perfect match to that of Hannah Row's. Yet how can this be; the girl was murdered many years ago - and Devlin doesn't believe in ghosts.

Author: Brian McGilloway
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1472133267
Publisher: Constable