I came to this book after listening to the Michael Forsyth trilogy (but not having read Fifty Grand). The first thing that struck me is how much the pyrotechnics (both plotwise and stylistically) are cooled down.
In the Forsyth books, there are multiple shootouts that can end up stretching credulity; here, we have a more cat-and-mouse plot, with a lot of energy going into characters hiding out from other characters. It's a nice refreshing change, as much as I loved the Forsyth books. Killian, the hero of the novel, is no superman, and so there's a constant knife-edge of tension, since odds are, if he gets in a fight he'll lose.
Verbally, the Forsyth books have poetic flights of fancy, which are fewer in this book. Although I missed them, they really stand out when they happen, since there are so few of them. Again, it's a refreshing change, and shows that McKinty can write in more than one voice, fitting his style to the more down-to-earth Killian.
Doyle, as always, seems perfectly suited to this material. It's hard to imagine another voice for these books (and, for that matter, I've heard Doyle on another author, and it felt lacking).
I've listened to McKinty???s ???Dead??? trillogy (???Dead I Well May Be??? is my favorite), and ???Fifty Grand.??? ???Falling Glass??? is another winner. All McKinty???s books have multidimensional characters and intelligent plots. ???Falling Glass,??? like the others, pulls you along with a fast-paced story, all-too-human characters, and???a key ingredient missing from many thrillers???wit. This book is the first of a series with a new protagonist, Killian, a former enforcer for the IRA, and I can???t wait to listen to the next book in the series. I hope it will be read by Gerard Doyle, who is the reader for all the other McKinty books I???ve listened to. Doyle is a terrific reader, perfect in every way.
FORTY SOMETHING THUG FOR HIRE WHO ENJOYS A GOOD BOOK.
HERE IS A GREAT HARDBOILED THRILLER FROM ONE OF THIS CENTURIES GREAT NOIR WRITERS. ITS A STORY ABOUT HARD MEN GETTING OLD AND HAVING TO ADAPT TO CHANGING TIMES. THE PROTAGANIST IS AN EX I.R.A. ENFORCER, WHO AFTER TAKING A BATH IN THE COLLAPSING REAL ESTATE MARKET, FINDS HIMSELF HIRING HIS SKILLS OUT TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER. IN THIS CASE ITS A AIRLINE MOGUL WHO IS LOOKING TO GET HIS CHILDREN BACK AFTER HIS EX-WIFE HAS KIDNAPPED THEM. THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF TWISTS AND TURNS IN THIS THRILLER, AND SOME REAL TENSION IS BUILT AS A RUSSIAN HITMAN CLOSES IN AND MATCHES WITS WITH THE INTREPID HERO. BUT THE REAL JOY IS THE ACCURATE PORTRAIT AUTHOR McKINTY PAINTS OF A GENERATION OF HARD MEN WHO HAVE IN SOME RESPECT OUTGROWN THEIR USEFULNESS, WITH AN UNEASY PEACE BETWEEN THE REPUBLICAN ARMY AND THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT WELL IN PLACE, OLD WARRIORS HAVE TO FIND NEW WAYS TO MAKE A LIVING. AND THE LONGER THEY ARE AWAY FROM THE ACTION, THE SLOWER THEIR REFLEX ACTIONS HAVE BECOME. THE HERO HERE DOESN'T ALWAYS COME OUT ON TOP. HE MAKES MISTAKES, AND PAYS FOR THEM. THIS IS NOIR AFTER ALL. AND ALL THE TRAPPINGS OF THE GENRE ARE FIRMLY IN PLACE. EVERY CHARACTER HAS A VOICE AND THE AUTHOR LETS THEM SPEAK THEIR VARIOUS STORIES; AND WITH GERARD DOYLE DOING THE NARRATION IS IT ANY WONDER THIS IS ONE OF THE FINEST LISTENS YOU'LL ENCOUNTER AT AUDIBLE. DOYLE ACCENT AND PERFORMANCE OF THE MATERIAL JUST LIFTS THE STORY INTO THE REALM OF ART. AND THAT OPEN ENDED CLIMAX IS A DOOZY.
The story is not especially different but I enjoyed more information on the Irish setting and the life of a tinker