So admits Michael Forsythe, an illegal immigrant escaping the troubles in Belfast, Northern Ireland. But young Michael is strong and fearless and clever, just the fellow to be tapped by Darkey, a crime boss, to join a gang of Irish thugs struggling against the rising Dominican powers in Harlem and the Bronx. The time is pre-Giuliani New York, when crack rules the city, squatters live furtively in ruined buildings, and hundreds are murdered each month. Michael and his lads tumble through the streets, shaking down victims, drinking hard, and fighting for turf, block by bloody block.
Dodgy and observant, not to mention handy with a pistol, Michael is soon anointed by Darkey as his rising star. Meanwhile Michael has very inadvisably seduced Darkey's girl, Bridget, saucy, fickle, and irresistible. Michael worries that he's being followed, that his affair with Bridget will be revealed. He's right to be anxious; when Darkey discovers the affair, he plans a very hard fall for young Michael, a gambit devilish in its guile, murderous in its intent.
But Darkey fails to account for Michael's toughness and ingenuity or the possibility that he might wreak terrible vengeance upon those who would betray him.
A natural storyteller with a gift for dialogue, McKinty introduces to readers a stunning new noir voice, dark and stylish, mythic and violent, complete with an Irish lilt.
©2003 Adrian McKinty; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
"A profoundly satisfying book from a major new talent, and one of the best crime fiction debuts of the year." (Booklist)
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
Listening to Gerard Doyle read McKinty's prose is like listening to great poetry. This is a brutal story of a young man's experience in the underworld, but one that I enjoyed very much. I suppose some might compare it to watching a train wreck or such. . . one knows that there are likely no happy endings, but one can't stop listening anyway.
This is an amazing narrative that will engage you completely. While beatings, murder, double cross and more are the norm, there is a tenderness in the story that will have you relating to Michael in every way. The twists and turns in Michael's relationship with Bridgette are enthralling.
This is a great story, although told with very coarse language all along the way. A geat listen. . . I recommend it highly.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
The Belfast dialect is about as unlovely, even grating, as any in the world. Doyle does it faithfully, and that is probably the most painful part of this book. Still, it was so wonderfully written and accumulated so much power and momentum as it went along, that I could not help sticking with it.
I am surprised to see so many people put off by the supposed inhuman and cold nature of the main character. I personally found him remarkably tender and appealing for the most part--a deeply moral character sucked into a cesspit by his instinct for self preservation and a talent for survival, he kills to stay alive and to keep faith with the betrayed. The innocence is put away but everything which comes after is colored by it. I have only read the first book, so perhaps his character skews more sharply toward the amoral in the remaining books. I look forward to finding out.
It takes a while for the story to roll, but McKinty's eye for evocative detail and the power with which he draws us into the underbelly of the upper Manhattan ghettos of the 1980's was more than enough to fascinate this listener. Once the book moved to Mexico, there was no way to put it down.
The story takes surprising twists and turns and the protagonist will delight you with his intelligence and wit. I can't wait to read/listen to the next book in the series!
Yes, both a great story and great narrator. Somewhat violent, somewhat profane, but with an intelligent and likable main character nonetheless.
Both the author and reader are terrific. Make sure you read all three of the series books in order. As good as this one is, they just keep getting better from here.
Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.
Great book even better narrator, The Irish accent is enchanting. I can't wait to listen to the next one.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
EVERYTIME I GO ABROAD I END UP IN THE SLAMMER
It's 1992 and Mike our main character is 19 and living on the dole in Ireland. He gets caught working a job, while collecting the dole, so to avoid going to jail, he agrees to not collect the tax payers money. There is 30% unemployment in Northern Ireland, and he does not want to do physical labor so he goes to New York City to work for a small mob boss. He would rather shoot someone in the knee caps then do physical labor. He is screwing the mob bosses girlfriend, dreaming of the day she will leave the boss and come to him for good. I could only take 4 hours and 40 minutes of this. In that time no plot developed. The main character is not likable. I will say the dialogue in this is excellent. The author can write great dialogue. This reads like a bio.
I don't know how accurate the narrator is, I have worked with one man from Scotland, but his brogue was no where near as strong as this guy's. The lilt at the end of each sentence may be cute for the first hour, but really gets on your nerves after that. The good thing is, that I only paid $5.95 for this.
The $5.95 secret unannounced sale.
This had been in my wish list. When I put it there the member price was probably around $18.00, it was not $5.95. Audible takes books from time to time and lowers their member price to $5.95, so you have to check you wish list from time to time to see, if something in your wish list has been lowered.
I look at authors who have one crappy best seller after another, and I wonder why I only happened on Adrian McKinty by accident. His books are original and the writing is excellent. Gerard Doyle does a great job with the narration.
I got into McKinty with the Duffy series, which moved a lot quicker for me and I like better than the Forsythe books. Honestly, I went four hours with this book, not really connecting with it. Then it got better. The descriptions of New York are awesome. The narration on this is perfect as in all the other books. If you are first breaking into McKinty, ready Cold Cold Ground first (The trouble trilogy).
I love books!
My third book by Adrian McKinty. Sometimes I feel like McKinty is the best writer no one has heard of but he gets quite a few reviews written on his books so some know about him. I jsut really like his writing style. In this book, the protaganist is 19 years old, kicked out of the British army, goes home to Northern Ireland, gets into trouble and needs to leave for awhile so goes to America and New York City. There he can't find a normal job so goes to workk for an Irish crime boss and then his situation goes from bad to worse. In the end the Irish maxim, "Don't get mad, get even", come into play and becomes the dominant theme of the book.
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