I have just finished my third Adrian McKinty Audible novel, "The Dead Yard." Both novelist and narrator are off-scale, so the combination is darkly dazzling because their speciality is the poetry of the terrible. The listener is drawn into dismaying absorbtion in the emotional and psychic drama of blood vengeance. It isn't until the last lyrical words have been uttered that one realizes how profoundly moral is this tale about the very current subject of terror as political tactic.
The protagonist Michael Forsythe is tricked by British intelligence into infiltrating a radical splinter IRA group attempting with action in America to undermine the 1990s peace process in Northern Ireland. Each member of the group represents a type of terrorist in terms of character motivation. Jerry, the leader, spouts poetic maxims in Latin, as he seeks to confer the glory of epic-style action on the tawdry actions of his little band. "Touched" is the psychopath whose twisted soul meshes so naturally and therefore so effectively with the twisting machinations of terror. Sonia the intellectual is deluded by bookish, romantic idealisms akin to those of the old Left. The two young people Jackie and Kit are animated with the corrupting romanticism of their elders and Irish forebearers: Jackie the male motivated much by the need for male solidarity; Kit the female, not even Irish by birth but by adoption, trapped by ethical complexities of identity and values too great for her quite good, but too young mind. On the other side are Michael and his handler Samantha. She like Kit is in over her head because she is not quite the consummate cold professional that she prides herself in being. And Michael, the hapless agent of British intelligence, turns into the commited avenger--an almost mythical figure bringing the justice he and the listener crave. But, oh, the cost to him!
"The Dead Yard" is a deep listen.
Tour de force!
Clever writing read brilliantly
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