Saturday, July 28, 2018

Belfast Detective Sean Duffy Returns in Another Great Novel from Adrian McKinty

Adrian McKinty's series featuring Belfast detective Sean Duffy was originally conceived as a trilogy. Happily, McKinty changed his mind and has continued the series beyond the third book, In the Morning I'll be GoneGun Street Girl is the fourth in the series and is set in 1985. The Troubles still bedevil Northern Ireland and complicate enormously the lives of all the citizens, most especially that of Sean Duffy, a Catholic who had nerve enough (or who was crazy enough) to join the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

The novel opens with the discovery of two bodies, a man and his wife, who have been shot to death in their home. Their son, Michael, is missing and there is evidence to suggest that Michael killed his parents and fled after having a series of arguments with his father. A couple of days later, Michael turns up dead, having apparently committed suicide and leaving a note of confession behind.

The cases now appear to be concluded, but Duffy is not so sure. He and his team continue to poke and prod and discover that Michael left Oxford abruptly, just short of getting his degree, after attending a party where the daughter of a cabinet minister died of an overdose of heroin. The deeper Duffy digs, the more complicated the case becomes--and the more dangerous for Duffy himself. Along the way, he's managed to antagonize some powerful forces who don't want him mucking around in their business and who are determined to make him stop doing so, one way or another.

It's another great read from McKinty. Sean Duffy is a very engaging character--smart, witty, irreverent, and often funny as hell, even in the very difficult conditions under which he must live and work. His romantic life continues to be problematic and there's a long, hilarious scene in which he's persuaded to go to a social mixer where he might meet an eligible young lady. That chapter alone is worth the price of the book, and I can hardly wait to get to the next entry in the series.

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