Belfast, 1985. Amid the Troubles, Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, struggles with burnout as he investigates a brutal double murder and suicide. Did Michael Kelly really shoot his parents at point-blank range and then jump off a nearby cliff? A suicide note points to this conclusion, but Duffy suspects even more sinister circumstances. He soon discovers that Kelly was present at a decadent Oxford party where a cabinet minister's daughter died of a heroin overdose, which may or may not have something to do with Kelly's subsequent death.
New evidence leads elsewhere: gun runners, arms dealers, the British government, and a rogue American agent with a fake identity. Duffy thinks he's getting somewhere when agents from MI5 show up at his doorstep and try to recruit him, thus taking him off the investigation.
Duffy is in it up to his neck, doggedly pursuing a case that may finally prove to be his undoing.
©2015 Adrian McKinty (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"When it comes to Northern Irish crime fiction, Adrian McKinty forged the path the rest of us follow. The Sean Duffy series is the culmination of a career spent examining our darkest moments, and McKinty is the only crime writer who can do justice to our singular history." (Stuart Neville, author of The Final Silence)
"Series fans will appreciate the further insight into the fallout from tragic cases, department politics, and war. As usual, there's plenty of entertaining territorial battling between the dizzying array of law-enforcement agencies acting in Belfast, and Duffy's investigative skills seem somehow sharpened by his lost hope." (Booklist, starred review)
"Gerard Doyle gives a stunning narration of the fourth installment of McKinty's Detective Sean Duffy series.... From the subtle changes in dialect to McKinty's distinct writing cadence and dark humor, Doyle hones in on the details that make this procedural a joy to listen to." (AudioFile)
top of mind
McKinty simply is one of the best writers out there today - of any kind. His prose is lyrical without any cloying ornamentation or sentimentality. He sets a firm noir tone that he brilliantly leavens with sharp observation, humor and well-defined, but not cardboard characters.
But most of all, he tells a good story. It is well-paced and a continuing pleasure to read. The Gun Street Girl like the other books in this series is hard to put done.
The real mystery with McKinty is why he is not more popular.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
I could read a Duffy novel every week. Detective Sean is an improbable Irish Catholic cop on an all Protestant police force, during “The Troubles.” You wonder how he gets out the door every morning.
Although the character is fictional, McKinty takes his anti-hero and puts him into the most insane real-life historical twists. You start to feel like it MUST have happened.
When you find out the American political twist on what appears to local sectarian murders HOLY SH*T. I screamed.
Gerard has inhabited the Sean Duffy character for quite a while now. We BELIEVE him utterly. I know that real Irish must laugh at what Americans think is an Northern Irish accent, but hey, it WORKS FOR US.
Oh yes. The suspense is insane. The black humor is deadly. My barely suppressed longing for Duffy is never-ending. The political surprise at the end made me holler, and then I wouldn’t tell my partner what happened and we had to wait two weeks to talk about it openly.
I produce a lot of books at Audible, and listen to audio titles of all kinds, constantly. But political mystery fiction is my favorite escape, and John Le Carre’s classics, and Adrian McKinty are my GO TO.
Like many other readers, I assumed that the final novel in The Troubles Trilogy would mark the end of Detective Sean Duffy. I'm happy I was wrong. These novels are some of the best crime fiction I've ever read, and the audio books with narrator Gerard Doyle are pure pleasure.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
Is hope a business plan?
Warning: This is the fourth chapter in the epic adventure of Ulster detective Sean Duffy. Each is powerfully terrific, but they are chronological, start with "The Cold, Cold Ground" and grow along with Sean.
Now... "Gun Street Girl" is heartbreaking on so many levels. An Irish poet has written about today's Northern Ireland as "Reveling in the ordinary." Adrian McGinty moves us back into the 1980s Ulster where nothing, by our American/European standards, is ordinary. In a way, it's a hell much like this moment's Middle East or perhaps Mozambique.
Over these novels we've lived with Sean's growth (or regression) through ten years that he entered as a brilliant young man who'd hoped to make a difference by leaving a PhD program to become a cop. Originally planned as a trilogy, McKinty's narrative of Sean Duffy's trip has easily expanded into this fourth adventure swirling around a whodunit murder mystery. But from opening to solution Duffy becomes yet something almost grotesquely different from the dreamer of "The Cold, Cold Ground".
Perhaps this is the end of Duffy? Maybe it took McKinley four rather than three novels to get to this spot? Or maybe my hope in redemption will fuel another Sean Duffy experience. Even if it does end here, this is an epic that will haunt me, thanks in very large part to Gerard Doyle's spectacular talent as an actor with a tongue drunken by brogue.
McKinty is one of the greatest living popular Irish writers, and yet I understand he lives in America? Maybe you have to be from somewhere to communicate it to others? Yet historically, we are all from somewhere we left moments, minutes, hours, years, and decades ago. McKinty takes us back... To hope.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
I typically get hooked into series and at some point I realize enough is enough. This book was the enough. I love the setting of Northern Ireland, the narration by Gerard Doyle, but the basic material in this book is rather weak. I suppose that is just typical when you write a series of books eventually you run out of material, just look at the Harry Potter series.
I would highly recommend any of the earlier books in this series. This one, no.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Adrian McKinty is simply one of the best authors of police/crime thrillers. Gun Street Girl is Book 4 in the Detective Sean Duffy series with book 5 scheduled for release in 3 months. Duffy is a detective in rural Ulster (Northern Ireland which is part of the UK). In this book he ends up with a case in Belfast. As such he is a Catholic cop in a mostly Protestant country. The novel is set in 1985 while the IRA was still very active in Northern Ireland. This is a superb novel written by a true master of the genre. Gerard Doyle's narration is outstanding
A push - unless you live in the snowy Northeastern US in the winter of 2015 and have shoveling to do. In that case the audio version has the edge in this heat.
Read it and decide for yourself - it is strong strong crime novel, the type thatt makes time pass through your digits at a quick clip.
The part in Northern Ireland and England - a cracking good read.
Er - not the type to admit it if it did...
The whole series is very good and entertaining. If you like this genre you should give it a try. The narrator is very good also. Cheers...
This is another great book in the Sean Duffy series by Adrian McKinty. Sean gets involved with a murder investigation of a prominent family of Northern Ireland. Sean, a Catholic, is in the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) which is predominantly Protestant. As in the previous books, the underlying story is about The Troubles between the Protestants and IRA during the 80s.
To understand the back story, it helps to have read the other Sean Duffy books. If you haven't, then become familiar with the RUC, the IRA, Sinn Fein, the Fenians, and other "tribes" of Northern Ireland. That way the back story will make more sense.
Adrian McKinty brings forth many insights about The Troubles and international politics in this book. He helped me understand Margaret Thatcher's attempts to back out of Northern Ireland without conceding any losses. He made me think more about Sinn Fein which ironically was a featured story on 60 Minutes on April 5, 2015, wherein Gerry Adams, who is referenced in Gun Street Girl, is now under investigation for murder.
Sean Duffy is a human and vulnerable character whom I believe most readers will relate to. He is bright and witty, but not the perfect protagonist as he delves into drugs and other excesses. Nevertheless, he is portrayed as a superior problem solver and strategist. I think readers will find in impressive and worth following.
I gave the narrator only 3 stars because his American accents grated on me. Perhaps it's because the Irish accents are so lovely in comparison. Simply, I am tired of hearing all Americans in these books sound as if they are from Boston. Not every American sound like JFK.
The best listen a while. The narrator was great the best iv heard. A fab read. This is one book I definitely recommend.
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